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Seniors can call with questions about Medicare, support groups

Hello! This is Deb Shea writing for Mary Krueger this week. I hope that you are all staying warm! The Medicare Part D enrollment period has ended. If anyone is having a difficult time with his or her drug program, please give me a call. We need t...

Hello! This is Deb Shea writing for Mary Krueger this week. I hope that you are all staying warm!

The Medicare Part D enrollment period has ended. If anyone is having a difficult time with his or her drug program, please give me a call. We need to fix problems right away.

There are a couple of other enrollment periods going on at this time. If you have enrolled into a Medicare advantage plan, with or without drug coverage, you may change that plan in January, February or March.

A Medicare Advantage plan is when you join an insurance plan that becomes your Medicare, and it now pays your health care costs. You will also have co-payments. If you would like to know more about Medicare Advantage plans, call me.

The other enrollment period at this time is with Social Security for your Medicare Part B. Part B is the part of Medicare that pays your doctor visits and outpatient procedures. The premium for Part B in 2008 is $96.40.

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If you did not enroll in Part B when you were first eligible, you may do so in January, February or March. Your part B coverage will start in July.

Many of you may have gotten letters about having the Part B premium paid for you. This is a part of the Medicare Savings Program. Once again, either Mary or I can give you more information about this program.

Are you helping someone you love to remain in their home? A spouse or a parent? Do you feel like you are alone in the world at times doing this? You may be a part of the "sandwich generation," which is helping an ailing parent while still having children at home. Or you may also have grandchildren to help, too. Believe me, you are not alone.

I have been through it, and you will survive. There is help available, and many, many that will understand what you are going through. A new support group has also started.

If you are trying to do it all, come and find out what help is available. The next meeting will be February 12 at 2 p.m. at First Lutheran Church. Darlene Akerman, care consultant, will be the guest speaker. Darlene has been a caregiver herself, and understands what you are going through. Give Mary a call if you want to know more, or need help now.

Let's have some fun! We need to keep going in this cold Minnesota winter! The Douglas County Committee on Aging is sponsoring a bus trip to the Old Log Theatre. The play is Incorruptible. The date is February 27. The cost is $55. Call Mary to register.

OK, I have told you many times now to call Mary or me. So how do you get a hold of us? Both of us work for Douglas County Public Health, Senior Division. Mary Krueger's number is (320) 762-3047, Deb Shea's is 762-2974.

Stay warm and keep active.

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