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These Three Things

Posted Tuesday, February 28, 2012, at 8:51 AM

(1) How Well is Your Home Caring for You?

Most of us, as we grow older, start to think about where we want to live, and many of us decide that we want to stay right where we are. I know my husband and I don't want to have to move...for one thing just think of all the junk we've acquired over the last quarter of a century. I can't even talk him into cleaning out the garage, much less packing up everything we own!

As we all grow older our physical needs change and we need to assess our home surroundings to be sure that we can safely continue to live there. Fortunately there are ways to update our homes to make them safer places for us to live.

On Thursday, March 8 AARP is holding a FREE interactive program called "HomeFit" where they will explore assessing your home for livability. This program will be held at the Poplar Bluff Public Library at 318 N. Main St. from 9:30 a.m. until 12 noon. We urge you to come and learn about new ideas for making your home safe and livable. You may be eligible for a low-interest loan through Rural Development, there will be information about those loans as well.

The program is free, but registration is recommended to ensure your seat. If you are interested in attending please call JoAnn Rose toll-free at 1-866-389-5627.

(2) Medicare Boot Camp: We at SEMO Area Agency on Aging are presenting a workshop on Medicare for people who are becoming eligible for Medicare or simply have questions about how Medicare works. This workshop, (Medicare Boot Camp) will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 500 N. Main, in Poplar Bluff, on March 22 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.

There are so many things one needs to know about most government programs and how to wind through all the "red tape" we want to help. We will discuss Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, what each part covers and the cost to you. You will also learn about the different Medicare Supplement Plans, and the benefits each plan offers. You will learn the difference between a Medicare Health plan and regular Medicare. This Boot Camp is free but registration is necessary. Please call 335-3331 or toll free 1-800-392-8771 to register. We are not affiliated with any insurance company and there is nothing for sale.

(3) Eligibility for Assistance Programs Gets a Little Easier: The amount of income and resources you can have and still be eligible for assistance with Medicare Prescription Drug premiums, deductibles and co-pays, through the LIS (Extra Help) program will go up on April 1. See the chart below:

Annual Income

Resources

Single

$16,755

$13,070

Couple

$22,695

$26,120

.

Some of you may have received a letter in September of 2011 from the Social Security Administration telling you that you no longer qualify for Extra Help, then you may have received another letter in January of this year from them telling you that you should file another application and reapply. If you need assistance with this please call Ruth, Jackie, or Liz toll-free 1-800-392-8771. We will be happy to assist you in completing the application, it only takes about 10 minutes and is well worth the time if you are eligible.

More good news is that the amount of income and resources you can have for the Medicare Savings Program and still be eligible will also go up. This program pays your Medicare Part B premium which is generally about $99.90 this year. See the chart below:

Annual Income

Resources

Single

$15,324

$6,940

Married

$20,676

$10,410

If you think you may be eligible contact Ruth, Jackie or Liz at SEMO AAA, toll-free 1-800-392-8771, we have applications and will be happy to assist you in applying. Contact us at 335-3331 or toll free at 1-800-392-8771 for more information on any of these issues.



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Age Spots
Ruth Dockins
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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