Page 14 - Senior Times South Central Michigan - November 2017 - 24-11
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Page 14 Senior Times - November 2017
200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017
Medicare Open Enrollment Homework - What to Do BEFORE You Call MMAP for your Part D Review Appointment.
Kinship Korner
Family Enrichment Center
415 S. 28th Street Battle Creek, MI 49015
Beckie Brinks, Kinship Coordinator Email:
Ph: (269) 660-0448
Fx: (269) 963-0160
Calhoun County Kinship Care Services advocates for and provides supportive services to families rais- ing related children. If you are rais- ing a related child (ages 0-18 years), you may be eligible for Kinship
Care Services through the Family Enrichment Center. Kinship Care Services offers support groups, inter- generational family activities, helpful classes and specialized training.
Do Yourself a Favor by Attending One of Our Support Groups!
• Join us monthly on the first Tuesday of each month from 12:30-2:30pm for the Battle Creek Kinship Support Group. We meet in the All Purpose room at the Westlake Presbyterian Church. Support groups nurture relationships, decrease isolation and provide a safe place to vent. Support groups build on collective energy, creativity, and the talents of all group members. The next meeting is November 7, 12:30-2pm. Consider visiting a support group. You won’t regret it!
Additional Programs:
• On Monday, November 20, Jane Wolf will discuss “Parenting the High Needs Child” at the Family Enrichment Center from 6:30- 8:30pm.
• Our “Saturday Parenting Series” training is scheduled for November 16, (also at the Family Enrichment Center) 9am-12pm.
• Our Brown Bag Lunch is scheduled for November 9, 12-1pm, at the Family Enrichment Center as well.
• We also provide respite for our Kinship families when it all becomes too much to handle!
Our 9th Annual Family Seminar is on November 4. Look for information and registration at our website at www.!
We are interested in hearing your opinion on how we can better serve
the Kinship community. Please give Beckie a call or e-mail her at bbrinks@ Your input will be appreciated!
We have the means to help provide necessities and enrichment activities for the children in your care. We also have the experience and knowledge to advocate for you and give advice on how to navigate through issues as they develop. Spread the word!
By: Karen Manney, Regional Coordinator, MMAP
Open Enrollment for Medicare Part D Prescription Plans, or Medicare Advantage Plans runs October 15 through December 7. Plan changes made during Open Enrollment will take effect January 1, 2018.
Some “homework” to do before calling the Medicare/ Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) for your Part D or Medicare Advantage Plan Check Up, or your “New to Medicare” appointment:
• Find your Medicare Card. It has Red White and Blue stripes at the top, with your claim number and the start date(s) for your Part A Hospital and Part B Medical coverages. If you cannot locate your card, you may order a replacement one from Social Security by calling 1-800-772- 1213. In order to look up or make changes to your current plan, MMAP benefits counselors must have your Medicare claim number and the start dates off your card.
• Get a printout of the current list of all your prescription medications from your pharmacist. The full name of the medicine, exact dosage, and how many times a day you take it are needed. Include prescription eye drops or skin creams – you need to know the sizes of the bottles or tubes for those.
• If you are currently covered under a private employer or retiree plan, and are eligible
for Medicare (or turning 65), ASK your company’s Human Resources department for information about how your work plan coordinates with Medicare for Medical and Prescription coverage. If you have “credible coverage” through your employer or retiree plan, you may not need to enroll in Medicare right away, and won’t be penalized for late enrollment at a future date. As company
and retiree plans are private contracts, the MMAP office will not know how your plan is set up to work with Medicare. DO NOT sign up for any Medicare related medical or prescription insurance products until you are certain how it might affect your employer/retiree plan! You could accidentally cancel your retiree/ work medical insurance just by taking a Medicare prescription
plan! Do your homework. To help you save money,
when you call MMAP, you’ll
be screened for money saving programs, like Extra Help
for Prescriptions, Medicare Savings Program for Part B premium assistance, or the Michigan Medigap Subsidy
for Supplemental Policy Premium reductions (for certain companies). You need this information for BOTH spouses if you are married and not legally separated. Gather the following:
• ALL Current Gross Income statements – from Social Security, pensions, and employment. The GROSS income means the total amount before any taxes, insurance premiums, or other reductions are taken out of your check.
• Total assets – current bank
and credit union statements, investment accounts, CDs, IRA’s 401Ks, burial contracts, and the cash surrender value of any life insurance policies with cash surrender values. You don’t count the house in which you reside, or one vehicle. (If you co-signed on a house or vehicle, it counts as your asset, even if you don’t live in it or drive it yourself.)
Insurance does you no good
if your doctors won’t take it. Some Medicare Advantage
plans advertise heavily on TV, radio, mailers, and print during open enrollment, but ARE NOT widely accepted locally. If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan that isn’t accepted by your local providers, you might have to travel further for medical care, switch doctors, or pay out of pocket for your care. You may not be able to switch back out of the plan for a full year. That’s an expensive mistake. Therefore, if you are considering a Medicare Advantage plan, PLEASE
call each of your doctors and specialists, and the hospital
you would use, to verify the Medicare Advantage plans with which they participate.
Call MMAP to set your Medicare Open Enrollment Check Up appointment to review 2018 plans:
• MMAP Statewide Hotline: 1-800-806-7174 (Hotline will route your call to the nearest MMAP office).
• CareWell Services SW at the
Kool Family Center, 200 West Michigan in Battle Creek: (269) 966-2450.
• Calhoun County Office of Senior Services, 315 West Green Street in Marshall: (269) 781-0846. (They are also making appointments for Heritage Commons Senior Enrichment Center in Marshall.)
• Forks Senior Center, 101 N. Albion Street in Albion: (517) 629-3842.
MMAP is not affiliated
with any insurance companies, pharmacies, or pharmaceutical manufacturers. While those
types of service providers may offer to compare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan costs for you, they may only provide information on plans which
work within their participating or contractual networks, and their information may therefore be incomplete or skewed to their benefit (tied to their commission pay structure or sales quotas).
MMAP offers one-on-one benefits counseling, providing truly unbiased information so consumers can make informed decisions about their most cost- efficient Medicare health benefits and prescription plan choices.
Other unbiased ways to compare Medicare plans: Online https:// then click on “Find health and drug plans” and do a personalized search, entering your own information. Or, call Medicare directly at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633- 4227). They get information over the phone, and help you review your options and sign up for Part D, too.
MMAP is funded in part by federal SHIP funds through the Administration on Community Living, and locally by the Calhoun County Senior Millage. The service is free, Donations are accepted.
Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450

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