Two weeks ago this column discussed Medicare Part D. Last week we touched on Original Medicare. This week I will discuss Medicare Advantage, also known as Medicare Health Plans.

Medicare Advantage plans are sold by private insurance companies. They must offer at least the same benefits as Original Medicare, but each plan has different costs and restrictions. You are typically required to see a health care provider that's in the plan's network. You may need to get a referral from your primary care doctor. Your deductible, co-insurance and co-pay amounts vary, depending on your plan. Medicare Advantage can cover some health care that Original Medicare does not. The plan must have a maximum limit on out-of-pocket costs, after your deductible is met. You cannot have a Medigap plan if you have Medicare Advantage. You can choose a Medicare Advantage plan with or without drug coverage.

We are currently in the open enrollment period. Now is the only opportunity for most Medicare Advantage participants to change plans. Call 272-3620 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are required.

Lab tests

Need to have some lab work done? St. Catherine Hospital will have personnel available on Election Day, Tuesday, to draw blood for a variety of tests. Drop by the senior center between 8 and 10 a.m. for a comprehensive metabolic CMP or lipid profile (must be fasting) or A1C, PSA, TSH or hemagram (no fasting required).

Tests range in price from $5 to $12.

For more information, call the senior center at 272-3620. No appointment is needed.

Thanks for help

This year, 2012, is the 40th anniversary of Meals on Wheels in Garden City. Many thanks to the RSVP volunteers and Duane Riley 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.

Transit news

It is time to renew your eligibility to ride the Mini Bus in 2013. Be sure to ask the next time you schedule the bus. Don't delay so you don't lose your service!

Never ridden the Mini Bus? Get an application now before the weather turns bad. Let us do the driving.

Scheduled activities

Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 a.m., followed by art class at 10 a.m. Gentle exercise begins at 11 a.m. The Ambassador Singers practice at 1 p.m. Life Writing group meets at 1 p.m. A domino tournament begins at 1 p.m. The second segment of "The Dust Bowl" begins at 3:30 p.m. at the museum. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday begins 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. The Finney County Senior Citizens Association covered dish dinner begins at 6 p.m. The speaker for the evening is Alli Burns, Finney County Extension family and consumer sciences agent.

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

Sunday, Daylight Savings Time ends. Turn your clocks back.

Monday begins with the Walking Club at 8:30 a.m. The Humdinger Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. Zumba meets at 5:30 p.m. Duplicate bridge begins at 7 p.m.

Tuesday is Election Day. Exercise your right to vote. St. Catherine Hospital will have staff available from 8 to 10 a.m. for lab draws. Gentle exercises begin at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.

Nov. 7 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Finney County Public Library outreach is from 11 a.m. to noon. Visit with Kara Fitzpatrick about your reading needs. The regular Wednesday night dance begins at 7:30 p.m. Music is provided by Craig Stevens. The recommended donation is $5. Bring finger food for the break.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Chicken pot pie, au gratin potatoes, cauliflower, cookie.

Friday: Meat loaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, spinach salad, wheat roll, cranberry gelatin salad.

Monday: Chili, baked potato, green beans, cinnamon roll, apricots.

Tuesday: Roast beef, scalloped potatoes, broccoli, wheat roll, bread pudding.

Nov. 7: Grilled chicken breast, rice, Capri veggies, wheat bread, strawberries and pears.

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