MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period is an annual period of time (October 15 through December 7) when current Medicare users can choose to re-evaluate part of their Medicare coverage (their Medicare Advantage/Part C and/or Part D plan) and compare it against all the other plans on the market. After re-evaluating, there is a better fit plan, there’s an option to switch, drop or add a Medicare Advantage and/or Part D plan.
The Open Enrollment Period cannot be used to enroll in Part A and/or Part B for the first time.
During the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) the following can occur:
- Anyone who has ( or signing up for) Medicare Parts A or B can join or drop a Part D prescription drug plan.
- Anyone with Original Medicare (Parts A & B) can switch to a Medicare Advantage plan.
- Anyone with Medicare Advantage can drop it and switch back to just Original Medicare (Parts A & B).
- Anyone with Medicare Advantage can switch to a new Medicare Advantage plan.
- Anyone with a Part D prescription drug plan can switch to a new Part D prescription drug plan.
Each year, insurance companies can make changes to Medicare plans that can impact how out-of-pocket costs— monthly premiums, deductibles, drug costs, and provider or pharmacy, “networks.” A network is a list of doctors, hospitals, or pharmacies that negotiate prices with insurance companies. They can also make changes to plan’s “formulary” (list of covered drugs). Given these yearly changes, it is a good idea to re-evaluate your current Medicare plan each year to make sure it still meets needs. Below are some additional benefits of re-evaluating coverage during Open Enrollment:
- Switching to better prescription drug coverage can reduce out-of-pocket costs and ensure drug plans still cover needed prescriptions.
- Save money and keep your doctor in-network by switching Medicare Advantage or Part D plans. Research shows that the average consumer can save $300 or more annually if they review their Part D coverage
- Find a higher quality plan. Plans with a 5-star rating are considered high quality. If you are enrolled in a plan that is less than 3, consider using Open Enrollment to switch.
During Open Enrollment, Pre-Enrollment Open Enrollment forms are available at the Center. Once completed (sooner than later and before Nov. 1) drop off at the Center, a telephone appointment for you will be made with our SHINE Counselor so he can review your options.
FUEL ASSISTANCE: Fall is here and winter is coming
Need help paying for fuel this winter? You are not alone. Fuel assistance helps thousands of local families with home heating bills each year. Fuel assistance is not just for oil, gas, or electricity; if you heat your home with a pellet or wood stove you can qualify to receive fuel assistance. The application process may seem daunting and I am happy to assist you in this task. If you previously received fuel assistance, you should have received a renewal application in the mail. If you have not received your renewal application, you may call SMOC at 508-620-2342 and they will re-issue another one for you. New to fuel assistance? No problem - I have applications available for new applicants. Please contact the Center at 508-359-3665 and ask for Lisa Marie Donovan Outreach Coordinator for a confidential appointment.
We’ve all heard this expression and by now we know it is true. As we age, our bodies become stiffer. Our lives slow down and so do we. As a door hinge rusts and hardens when it is not used, our joints do the same.
Our joints become naturally stiff with age, stiff because of injuries and stiff because of poor diet. They hurt and we don’t want to use them. When we don’t use them, however, they become even stiffer. Our muscles become weak and cannot support our joints. We move even less, and maybe even gain weight. The extra weight puts additional stress on our joints as well as all of the organs of our bodies. We feel even more sore and lethargic, and we again move less. If we continue to use our joints, muscles and bones less, we eventually lose the ability to use them.
What can we do? Exercise and eat a healthy diet!
Gentle exercise done regularly, with a healthy diet helps to keep our joints mobile and lubricated, our muscles strong and flexible, and our organs functioning properly. Enjoy what the Center is offering with weekly outdoor exercise classes:
Chair Yoga on Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m., Mat Yoga on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. and Core Balance on Fridays at 10:00 a.m. or daily in-home exercise at 10 a.m. on our local cable channels.
Morning Exercise Class via Medfield TV
Medfield TV offers a morning exercise class at 10 a.m. Move your channel to Comcast 8 or Verizon 47 for an in-home option for exercise
Norfolk County RSVP Invites You to Join Western Gunslingers: The Truth Behind the Westerns'
Dan Seligman, an established RSVP volunteer, will present his 10 seminar series, “Western Gunslingers: The Truth Behind the Westerns,” on Mondays, @ 11 a.m. – 12 noon. The series will begin on October 26th and end on December 28th. Attendance at all sessions is not required! To participate, please send an email to Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 23rd. Dan will email you the Zoom link, for the weekly sessions. The course consists of ten PowerPoint seminars on the life and times of gunslingers who lived in the American West in the late 19th century. Gunslingers are well known in American popular culture. The American West has been portrayed extensively in westerns and other media. It has been subjected to broad exaggeration, and more recently to uninformed debunking. The intent is to present the unvarnished truth as far as it can be ascertained from historical records. The seminars are generally broken up into two series: The Good Guys series consists of seminars on the following five figures: Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Buffalo Bill Cody and Annie Oakley. The Bad Guys series consists of the following: Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Belle Starr, Black Bart and Butch Cassidy. Sign up today.
Opera for Everyone! A Tribute to Jessye Norman and More!
A huge thank you to the Sherborn COA who has invited us to join them in this wonderful opera presentation. The regal African-American soprano, Jessye Norman, passed away in September, 2019. Her tribute will be followed by the bel canto opera “Maria Studarda” by Gaetano Donizetti, “A Masked Ball” by Guiseppe Verdi starring Pavarotti, and Beethoven’s only opera “Fielio.” The last class will be devoted to “Great Moments in Opera,” Erika’s selection of beautiful opera arias and choruses.
Presenter: Erika Reitshamer continues to entertain, enlighten and inspire Lifetime Learners while passing along her vast knowledge of opera and opera lore. She has spent a lifetime studying opera and was active in the formation of the Boston Lyric Opera Company. She is a board member of the New England Opera Club and a former Vice President of the Boston Wagner Society. Classes will be held on Tuesday, November 10, 17 and December 1, 8 and 15 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm All classes take place on Zoom. Call the Sherborn COA at 508-651-7858 to sign up. Cost for five sessions is $50.00. If anyone needs help getting set up on Zoom, we can work with you prior to the start of the class.
USSR- Russia Myths, Mysteries and Spying
On November 17 at 2:00 p.m., enjoy a one-hour presentation by Henry Quinlin based on his 30- years involvement with the former Soviet Union and Russia. Mr. Quinlin lived in Moscow for five years during the demise of the USSR and the rise of the new Russia. The presentation with 62 power-point panels will definitely entertain and educate the participants The presentation includes: The Hermitage, The Bolshoi Theater, The Kremlin Museum, The Palaces, The Moscow Subway, The Pushkin Museum, The Three Great Mysteries of Russia, The Amber Room, The Czar’s Jewels and The Art Taken by Napoleon. Also featured will be:
- Soviet Union in WW2
- Unusual story of Father Walter Ceszak, S. J. who survived 20 years in Soviet prison camp.
- Tour of Soviet Space facilities with Wally Schirra. Discovered long-held secret of Soviet Space Agency.
- Memorable comments, of Michelle Pfeiffer about making a film with Sean Connery in Moscow. Summit 1990 President Gorbachev and President G. H. Bush.
- Overthrow of Communism – Dismantling the USSR. Tanks in the streets.
- Spying for the F.B.I. And so much more!
Join us for this unique presentation by registering with your phone number and email by calling the Center at 508-359-3665.
NEW ACTIVITIES FOR NOVEMBER *
Crossword Puzzle Mania
Mondays at 1:30- Crossword-Puzzle Mania begins Nov. 1. Join us in solving a different puzzle each week. As a group everyone will have an opportunity to contribute on the down and across clues. This is something different, something to stimulate the brain and something fun to do!
Wednesdays at 3:30 p.m.– Enjoy 30 minutes of Brain Teasers beginning Nov. 4! Keep your brain active with teasers that make you think.
Thursdays at 2:00 p.m. – Enjoy an audio book with others through Conference Call. We will feature short stories followed by a discussion at the end of the read. Enjoy this unique way to get together and enjoy each other’s company and have a discussion at a distance.
Coffee and Conversation
Fridays at 10:00 a.m. - Coffee and Conversation Each week we will decide what the next week’s topic will be. Join in on Nov. 6 for our first meeting! Dial in and join the conversation.
*To access any of these programs simply dial 1-978-990-5000 and then your Access Code 859729. We look forward to sharing these activities with you in hopes of adding to your day in the safest way possible.
Selectman Office Hours
Meet and talk with Selectman Peterson on Fri. Nov.6 at 9 a.m. on our back patio. Mask and social-distancing required.
The Virtual Club
Are you a caregiver looking for a few minutes to yourself? Our Virtual Club Program is on Wednesday from 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 p.m. Your loved one can join Kathy and Tricia for conversation, music, gardening talk, dog therapy and a variety of virtual activities. If you are interested in a short break, schedule an in-person CLUB hour for your loved one with Kathy and Tricia. Your loved one will enjoy real conversation, a stimulating environment and more importantly, an hour or more for your enjoyment! Call Kathy Powers at 508-359-3665 for more information.
Caregiver Zoom Support Group
Share your experience, advice and support on Wed. 10/28 at 10 a.m. Call the Center for your zoom invite
GRAB-AND-GO LUNCH - Wednesdays
People have enjoyed picking up a delicious Grab N Go lunch on Wednesdays from 11:30-12. If you do not drive and are unable to come by, please call the COA by Monday at noon to sign up for a lunch and ask for a volunteer to deliver it. The volunteer will bring it to your door for a $3.00 donation to HESSCO. Call 508-359-3665 to order. This month we will offer the following:
Nov. 4 — Chicken Salad
Nov. 11 — Turkey and Cheese
Nov. 16 — Seafood Salad
Nov. 25 — Ham and Cheese
Video Classes Available for Viewing in Your HOME!
We have many Great Courses available to loan you during your time at home. Learn something new from history to art and many topics in-between. Here are a few of the possibilities: The History of Ancient Egypt, Churchill, Great Masters: Beethoven, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Civil War, The Everyday Gourmet: Making Healthy Food Taste Great, Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Class and so much more. Call us to borrow a course on a first come, first served basis.
The SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Program provides free health insurance information and counseling to all Massachusetts residents with Medicare, and their caregivers. People who have Medicare, or who are about to become eligible for Medicare, can meet with a counselor to learn about benefits and options available.
- Certified SHINE Counselors provide Medicare/health insurance assistance year round and during Open Enrollment.
- SHINE Counselors provide helpful information and resources to fit your special circumstances.
- SHINE counseling is a free service.
- Due to COVID-19 and for the well-being of SHINE Volunteers, Staff and community members, The SHINE program will be operating remotely during Open Enrollment; meeting by phone, Zoom, Email or by returning the Pre-Enrollment Open Enrollment Form.
- HESSCO encourages you to explore your options, review prescription drug coverage and consult with a SHINE Counselor.
Contact the Center at 508-359-3665 to schedule an appointment with a SHINE Counselor, and for more information, contact HESSCO at 781-784-4944.
Conference Call BINGO
Tues. & Fri. at 11:30 a.m. 1-978-990-5000 access code 859729# Cards still available!
Video Classes Available for Viewing in Your HOME!
We have many Great Courses available to loan you during your time at home. Learn something new from history to art and many topics in-between. Here are a few of the possibilities: The History of Ancient Egypt, Churchill, Great Masters: Beethoven, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The American Civil War, The Everyday Gourmet: Making Healthy Food Taste Great, Medical School for Everyone: Grand Rounds Class and so much more. Call us to borrow a course on a first come, first served basis
IMPORTANT DATES TO REMEMBER
All 2020 special trips have been cancelled due to COVID 19
LOW VISION AND LOW HEARING
Low Vision Group Meeting
You are not alone in your vision challenges! Come share your successes and struggles and together we shall navigate the journey of life with low vision. Contact Lisa Marie Donovan, Outreach Coordinator at (508)359-3665 for information.
Low Hearing Group
Hearing loss happens as we age. Contact Susan Bernstein, Volunteer Coordinator at 508)359-3665 for information on ways to manage your hearing loss. Learn strategies to maintain your quality of life and relationships.
Men’s Book Club
Page Turners Book Group
Great Books Discussion
Outside Events (reference top of page for a complete listing and select flyers)
Movies at the COA
Enjoy the beautiful fresh air of the fall on Mondays at 1:30 for a movie on our patio. Call the Center for the feature presentation!
Regular Shopping Trips at 9:00 a.m.: Mondays we go to Shaw’s, Wednesdays we go to Bellingham for Market Basket, Wal-mart, Whole Foods, and The Paper Store and Fridays we go to Roche. Bros. in Millis
Shop Walgreens on Tues., Oct. 6 with 20% off for seniors. Bus leaves at 10 a.m.
Play CONFERENCE CALL BINGO on Tuesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m.
Mah Jongg - TBD
Cribbage - TBD
CARDS, CARDS, CARDS !
CANASTA - TBD
Whist - TBD
3-13 - TBD
POKENO - TBDPlay CONFERENCE CALL BINGO on Tuesday and Friday at 11:30 a.m. September is a great month to pick up a couple of cards and enjoy the fun game of BINGO!