Medicare alternatives are available

The past couple of weeks, this column has covered health insurance for senior citizens. Medicare Part A is hospitalization insurance. Medicare Part B covers outpatient services. These two components cover 80 percent of medical costs. A Medicare supplement will cover most of the remaining 20 percent. Prescription coverage is known as Medicare Part D.

There is an alternative to traditional Medicare available.

Instead of Medicare Parts A and B, a supplement and a drug plan, a person can purchase a product known as Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part C or Medicare health plan. You must have Medicare Parts A and B but cannot have a supplement. Drug coverage can be purchased through an Advantage plan or not, depending on your preference. If you buy an advantage plan without drug coverage, you can buy a stand-alone drug plan. These health plans have contracts with Medicare. When you join one, you get your Medicare-covered health care services through the private plan. The private plans are required to offer a benefit "package" that is at least as good as Medicare's and covers everything Medicare covers, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. Some plans offer hearing coverage, vision coverage, gym memberships and other services not covered by Medicare. As with traditional Medicare, private plan members can incur high out-of-pocket costs, however, Medicare Advantage plans typically have an out-of-pocket maximum ($6,700, for example), which can protect individuals against catastrophic medical bills. Once the out-of-pocket maximum is reached for an individual, the plan will pay 100 percent of Medicare-approved services for the remainder of the calendar year, with no lifetime maximum, so long as individuals use in-network providers.

Counselors are available to help understand these decisions.

Call 272-3620 and request an appointment with a SHICK (Senior Health Insurance Counselor of Kansas) counselor.

Thanks for help

Many thanks to the volunteers from Hometown Realty, Noon Lions Club, Jim and Pat Nieman 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.

Aging in place

Coming tomorrow is a program sponsored by Kansas State Research Extension titled "Simple Home Modifications for Aging in Place." This program will be presented by Carol Ann Crouch, Scott County family and consumer science agent, at noon at the Finney County Public Library.

The program will cover what simple modifications may be needed to allow a person to remain in their own home safely and independently.

Bring a sack lunch and come to the library at noon Thursday for this informative program.



Thursday, the TOPS Club will meet at 9 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. A Domino Tournament will begin at 1 p.m. Zumba starts at 5:30 p.m. Yoga begins at 6:30 p.m.

Friday the day 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 monthly covered dish dinner begins at 6 p.m. Entertainment will be from "Too Many Strings."

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

Monday begins with walking at 8:30 a.m. The Humdingers Band practices at 12:30 p.m. Double pinochle begins at 12:30 p.m. Zumba starts at 5:30 p.m. Duplicate bridge starts at 7 p.m.

Tuesday has gentle exercises at 11 a.m. Pitch starts at 12:30 p.m. Bridge begins at 1:15 p.m.

April 10 has line dancing at 8:30 a.m. Finney County Public Library outreach is at 11:30 a.m. Pinochle starts at 12:40 p.m. The regular Wednesday night dance featuring the Moonshiners begins at 7:30 p.m. The recommended donation is $5.

Lunch menus

Lunch is served at noon.

Thursday: Chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, broccoli, wheat roll, apple slices.

Friday: Chili or beef stew, tossed salad, crackers, cinnamon roll, apricots.

Monday: Salisbury steak with gravy, creamed peas, Brussels sprouts with cheese, wheat bread, mixed fruit.

Tuesday: Oven-fried chicken, potatoes and gravy, beets, wheat roll, mandarin oranges.

April 10: Beef stroganoff on noodles, spinach, wheat bread, angel food cake with strawberries.

2013 Celebrating 35 years at the Senior Center of Finney County. Check out our website at