Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Joni Schaff

Options open for Medicare, property tax assistance

Senior Center News
Patrons and employees at the Hardin Senior Center are ready to welcome spring, thanks in part to efforts by our April decorators. 
Who are these volunteers? This month, they are Etta Kollekowski, AnnaBelle Rogers, Margaret Arbogast and Cliff Arbogast. The Arbogasts brought Easter buckets filled with eggs and window decorations. They also added several personal photos to the senior gallery: scenery photographs and photo of the month of Mr. Craig Stanley, a patron and local educator. Kollekowski brought a special wall hanging that Deloris Luther had. The embroidery of the pretty butterflies was stitched by the late Irene Hardt. Rogers bought some new Easter window clings. 
Why do these people volunteer? It’s because they have such pride in their senior center that they want others to enjoy what they take part in every day. Make it a point to stop and  visit the center at 317 N. Custer Ave.
This month’s birthday dinner at the Hardin Senior Center will be held on Wednesday, April 19. We are serving a traditional ham dinner. For reservations call us at (406) 665-2581.
The staff at the Hardin and Lodge Grass Senior Centers wishes all a Happy and Blessed Easter.
The following is information regarding two programs for which you may qualify.
The Medicare Saving Program (SMP) helps to pay for Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B premiums.
You may apply for this with the help of Patricia Fischer, the SHIP Counselor at the Hardin Senior Center. Her phone number is (406) 665-9768. She is available weekdays from 2-4 p.m. Leave a message if there is no answer. It will be returned as soon as possible at the Council on Aging.
The QMB (Qualified Medicare Beneficiary) program pays for Medicare’s Part A and B, premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance payments and Part A copays hospital stays for days 21-100. It is comparable to Plan F Supplemental Insurance. The income limit for a single person is $1,025 and for a couple, it’s $1,373. The program starts the month after the application. Secondly, there is SLMB (Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiary Program). The income limit for a single person is $1,226 and a couple $1,644. The SLMB pays Medicare Part B premiums and starts the month of the application, and can retro back three months for coverage. Thirdly, there is QI-1, Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program. The income limit for a single person is $1,377 and for a couple, it’s $1,847. This pays Medicare Part B premiums and starts in the month of the application with three months retro back. If you use QI-1, however, you cannot be eligible for other Medicaid. There are resource limits for each of these: QMB, SLMB and QI-1. You won’t know you’re eligible unless you first apply.
The Property Tax Assistance Program is a property tax reduction for those who qualify. It must be filed with the local Department of Revenue on the third floor of the Big Horn County Courthouse. Applications are accepted through April 15. Check with the office at (406) 665-9710 with questions. The owner must have occupied their own home for the last seven months to be eligible. For a single person the 80 percent multiplier would be $0 to $8,505 and, for a married couple or head of household, $0 to $11,339. The 50 percent multiplier for a single person is $8.506 to $13,041 and, for a married couple or head of household, $11,340 to $19,844. A 30 percent multiplier for a single person is $13,042 to $21,262 and, for a married couple or head of household, $19,845 to $28,349. 
The reduction rate is determined using the property owner’s federal adjusted gross income. The application is simple to fill out. Why not apply to see if you are eligible? It won’t hurt a thing just to find out. You may call 1-866-859-2254 or complete Form PPB-8 at https://revenue.mt.gov/propertytax-relief.
Hardin Senior Center menu:
Thursday, April 13 – chicken, potatoes and gravy, vegetables, dessert
Friday, April 14 – fish, fries, coleslaw, dessert
Monday, April 17 – Tater Tot casserole, vegetables, salad, dessert
Tuesday, April 18 – beef vegetable soup, sandwich, dessert
Wednesday, April 19 – ham dinner, birthday cake, ice cream
Thursday, April 20 – breakfast casserole, sausage, fruit
Lodge Grass Senior Center:
Friday, April 14 – closed
Monday, April 17 – Salisbury steak, noodles, vegetables, biscuit, strawberry short cake
Wednesday, April 19 – barbecue pork sandwich, potato salad, baked beans, apple pie, ice cream