The Garden City Telegram
10/30/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

SENIOR SHOWCASE: Time to check Medicare drug coverage

Open enrollment for Medicare Part D is in full swing. We are seeing some significant changes in the plans for 2014. I strongly encourage everyone to check their drug insurance plan to be sure you have adequate, reasonably priced coverage.

For those of you with Internet at home, it is fairly easy to check your coverage. You begin by going to Medicare.gov. The best time to do this is evening when the website is not so busy.

* Login on at Medicare.gov

* Click on Find health and drug plans

* Scroll down to Personalized Search. Complete all the items. They must be completely correct. If you are helping someone else and don't have all their information, you can use the General Search. Find Plans.

* Choose your county.

* Enter your drugs. Type in the name of a prescription drug you are taking. A choice of drugs will appear. Select the correct drug and Add Drug. Then select the dosage and quantity. Add drug and dosage.

* Continue adding prescription drugs until you have entered all the prescriptions you take. It is critically important that you enter all your prescriptions.

* When you have finished entering all your prescriptions click My Drug List is Complete.

* Select your pharmacy. You may select two pharmacies to compare prices if you wish.

* Refine Your Search. Most people are researching only a drug plan so click on the box "Prescription Drug Plans (with Original Medicare)." If you are interested in Medicare Advantage, click one of the other boxes.

* You will be presented with a long list of drug insurance companies starting with your current plan, followed by Original Medicare, followed by the companies in order starting with the least expensive and continuing to the most expensive. You can click on three and compare them side-by-side.

What you want to look at carefully is the annual dollar amount. This figure is the expected cost of your complete list of prescriptions, including 12 months of premiums, the deductible and the cost of the prescriptions at the pharmacy. You can compare the annual cost between companies for an apples-to-apples comparison.

Each drug insurance plan prices drugs individually, so what one company covers is not necessarily the same as what the next company covers and charges. The website does all the work for you by doing the calculations and presenting you with an annual cost.

If your current drug insurance plan is still the best value, then you do not need to do anything. If you choose to change plans, you can enroll online. Enrolling in a new plan automatically cancels your old plan.

If you are uneasy with this process, call the senior center at 272-3620 for an appointment with a trained counselor.

Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels volunteers are signing up for 2014. Two weeks are available if you and your group would like to volunteer. We are looking to fill Sept. 1 to 5, 2014, and Oct. 20 to 24, 2014. Call Patti Thummel at 272-3620 or 260-6282 for more information. Many thanks to all the volunteers who delivered Meals on Wheels last week. Are you interested in helping with Meals on Wheels? Substitute drivers are always needed. If you would like to help, call Patti at 272-3620 or 260-6282.

Scheduled activities

Thursday: Happy Halloween. The day begins with TOPS Club at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Skip-Bo begins at 1 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday starts with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. A nurse from St. Catherine Hospital will be here from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Bridge starts at 12:45 p.m.

Saturday, the pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday ends Daylight Saving Time. Turn your clocks back.

Monday has double pinochle at 12:30 p.m. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has walking at 8:30 a.m. Gentle exercises are at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.

Nov. 6 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. Library outreach is at 11:30 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring Jim Calhoun begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5 per person. Come join the fun.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Creamy noodles with ham, Brussels sprouts, blushed pears, wheat roll.

Friday: Sweet/sour chicken on rice, oriental vegetables, wheat roll, citrus cup.

Monday: Smothered steak, mashed potatoes, marinated tomatoes, peaches, wheat roll.

Tuesday: Pork roast, potatoes and gravy, cauliflower, blueberry dessert, wheat roll.

Nov. 6: Beef stroganoff on noodles, carrots, mandarin oranges, wheat bread.

Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at www.seniorcenterfc.com.