The Garden City Telegram
8/21/2013
SOUTHWEST LIFE

Understanding rules of Medicare key for seniors

You may already know that Medicare is a medical insurance program for people who are 65 or older and for people who are disabled at any age. Some people are covered by only one type of Medicare; others opt to pay extra for more coverage. Understanding Medicare can save you money.

If you're eligible for and want to be covered by Medicare Part B medical insurance, the general enrollment period for Medicare Part B runs from Jan. 1 through March 31. Before you make a decision about general enrollment, here is some useful information.

There is a monthly premium for Medicare Part B. In 2013, the standard premium is $104.90. Some high-income individuals pay more than the standard premium. Your Part B premium also can be higher if you do not enroll during your initial enrollment period, or when you first become eligible.

There are exceptions to this rule. For example, you can delay your Medicare Part B enrollment without having to pay higher premiums if you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member. If this situation applies to you, you have a "special enrollment period" in which to sign up for Medicare Part B, without paying the premium surcharge for late enrollment. This rule allows you to 1) Enroll in Medicare Part B at any time while you are covered under a group health plan based on your own current employment or the current employment of any family member; or 2) Enroll in Medicare Part B during the eight-month period that begins following the last month your group health coverage ends, or following the month employment ends, whichever comes first.

If you receive disability benefits and have coverage from a working family member, the same rules apply.

If you live in one of the 50 states or Washington, D.C., and you're already receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits or railroad retirement payments, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down.

If you don't enroll in Medicare Part B when you first become eligible to apply and you don't fall under the special enrollment period, you'll have to wait until the general enrollment period, which is Jan. 1 through March 31 of each year. At that time, you may have to pay a higher Medicare Part B premium.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to 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, the TOPS Club will meet at 8:30 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercises start at 11 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, the day begins with line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Craft Shop check-in/out is from 10 a.m. to noon. 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 has Prairie Land Food pick-up at noon. The pool room is open from 1 to 4 p.m.

Sunday has duplicate bridge at 2 p.m.

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 begin at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m. Bingo starts at 1:30 p.m.

Aug. 28 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. TOPS 1116 meets at 10 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring the "Oklahoma Cowboy" begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Oven-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, stewed tomatoes, sherbet, wheat roll.

Friday: Taco salad, corn, tortilla chips, pineapple tidbits.

Monday: Pork chop, sweet potato, California blend vegetables, apricots, wheat roll.

Tuesday: Beef stroganoff on noodles, green beans, melon mix, wheat bread.

Aug. 28: Roast beef, potatoes and gravy, carrot raisin salad, topical fruit salad, wheat bread.

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