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Before You Turn 65,              gram) — This is a critical step if   scription drug insurance. Part D is   The Medigap Plan Finder.
             Here’s What You Need to             it’s important for you to remain   never provided directly by the gov-  The Medicare Rights Center hotline
              Know About Medicare                with your family doctor           ernment and is a separate, optional    1-800-333-4114.
             2018 By : Kimberley Fowler        You may have more out-of-pocket     plan to help cover cost of medica-  United Medicare Advisors to help
                                                 costs                             tion.                                  you enroll and compare Medigap
             “Annoying,” “difficult” and “frus-  You will have a choice of the drug   6. On Social Security? You may      plan rates
          trating.” For anyone who has           plans available in your area      automatically be enrolled in        Your local State Health Insurance
          applied to Medicare, these are the   With a Medicare Advantage Plan:     Medicare. If you’re on social securi-  Assistance Program (SHIP).
          typical words that come to mind      There are limits to the doctors you   ty (which you can begin at age 62),   8. Start the application process
          when describing the application        can choose to see — If remain-    then you should be automatically    early.
          process. Before You Turn 65,           ing with your family doctor is    enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or     Applying for Medicare is a com-
          Here's What You Need to Know           important to you, then you        Part B when you turn 65.            plicated and lengthy process. How
          About Medicare                         should check to ensure your          Of course, if you think you’ll be   much time should you give yourself
             Part of the problem is that there   doctor will be accessible under   automatically enrolled in Medicare,   to apply? You should start your
          are no easy, one-size-fits-all cover-  this plan                         it doesn’t hurt to double check that   research when you turn 64.
          age options. The other part of the   You may have fewer out-of-pocket    assumption well in advance of your     9. You can’t enroll in Medicare
          problem is that in an underfunded      expenses                          initial enrollment period.          as a family. Medicare is an individ-
          system, everyone’s on their own to   You may have access to extra           7. Record details about          ual benefit and each member of
          navigate through Medicare as best      hearing and vision benefits       Medicare information. If a govern-  your family needs to apply for
          they can.                            Drug coverage is included in some,   ment official gives you incorrect   Medicare separately. There are no
             10 Things to Know About             but not all types of Medicare     information that causes you to miss   family Medicare plans.
          Medicare - So, what can you do to      Advantage Plans                   your initial enrollment period, then   10. You can supplement
          maximize your Medicare coverage         4. If you miss enrollment, you’ll   you may not have to pay the entire   Medicare with a “Medigap Policy.”
          while minimizing your expenses       have to pay penalties. If you miss   penalty. However, you have to be   If you can afford it, it is possible to
          and stress?                          the initial enrollment period, you   able to prove that the government   supplement Medicare with a
             Give yourself plenty of time and   can still sign up for Medicare during   official gave you incorrect informa-  Medicare Supplement Plan, or
          read these top 10 things to know     the general enrollment period       tion.                               “Medigap” Policy. These plans will
          about Medicare before you turn 65:   which runs from January 1-March        Remember to take details about   help cover expenses like:
             1. After you turn 65, Medicare is   31. People who sign up during the   who you spoke to, the date and    Coinsurance (the portion of the
          your primary insurer.                general enrollment period will be   time, what they said, their contact    money you pay after your insur-
             Do you have another form of       eligible for coverage the following   information and any other pertinent   ance has paid your benefit)
          insurance? Once you turn 65,         July.                               information. You should do this     Co-payments (the money you pay
          Medicare is considered your pri-        Late enrollment penalties apply   every time you speak with some-       each time you seek care)
          mary insurer. This is true even if   for people who miss their initial   one in the government about         Deductibles (money you pay before
          you haven’t applied for Medicare     enrollment period. Depending on     Medicare.                              your insurance benefits kick in)
          yet. It’s also true even if you have   the part of Medicare that you apply   For additional information about
          retiree health insurance, individual   for, these penalties can vary from   Medicare, you can contact:       Reprinted with permission from A
          health insurance or COBRA.           10% for every 12 months you delay   Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-      Place for Mom.
             This consideration is an impor-   enrollment or 1% per month.           800-633-4227) or access their
          tant factor to know and understand      5. Medicare coverage is com-       website.                          /12­06­16­what­you­need­to­know­
          because it means that you can’t      posed of four main parts. When      The “Medicare & You” handbook.      about­medicare/
          count on your other forms of insur-  you’re researching Medicare, you’ll   The Medicare Plan Finder.
          ance to pay for your hospital or     inevitably come across terms like
          physician bills once you turn 65.    Part A, Part B, Part D, Medigap,      Why the Arts Are Important to Lincoln
          These other insurance companies      Medicare Supplement, and
          are considered your secondary        Medicare Advantage Plans. What
          insurer.                             do these mean?                        by Suzanne Wise, Executive        for everyone to enjoy or debate
             2. Apply before you turn 65.         Medicare Part A refers to hospi-  Director, Nebraska Arts Council  about. Lincoln is host to a series
          Applying for Medicare on your 65th   tal insurance and covers most          I am the director                             of temporary sculp-
          birthday is not ideal. You must      medically necessary hospital,       of the Nebraska Arts                             tures beginning with
          apply during the initial enrollment   skilled nursing facility, home health,   Council, a state                           the “Tour de Lincoln”
          period of three months before your   and hospice care                    agency that pro-                                 bikes that can still be
          65th birthday. This enrollment peri-    Medicare Part B refers to med-   motes and financially                            seen around town
          od ends four months after your       ical insurance and covers most      supports the arts in                             along with light
          65th birthday.                       medically necessary doctors’ serv-  our state.  We are                               bulbs, hearts, stars,
             3. Choose your plan wisely.       ices, preventive care, durable med-  the only state agency                           and most recently,
          You can choose either the original   ical equipment, hospital outpatient   (with the exception of                         hands.
          Medicare (Part A) or a Medicare      services, laboratory tests, x-rays,   the Brand                                         In addition to sup-
          Advantage Plan (Part C). You can     mental health care, and some        Committee) that is                               porting arts organi-
          also opt for the other parts as men-  home health and ambulance serv-
          tioned above, like adding prescrip-  ices. You pay a monthly premium     not headquartered in                             zations, the
          tion drug insurance, for example.    for this coverage.                  Lincoln.  In 1963,                               Nebraska Arts
             What type of Medicare do you         Medicare Part C refers to        Governor Frank                                   Council provides
          want? That really depends on your    Medicare Advantage Plans. With      Morrison asked                                   grants to social serv-
          unique circumstances, so there is    these plans, private health insur-  Omaha World Herald art critic       ice agencies and community
          no “right” answer here. But, there   ance companies have contracts       Leonard Thiessen if he would        organizations that are doing arts
          are some things to consider when     with the government. Medicare       head up the new agency and he       activities and to schools, which
          choosing between Original            Advantage Plans are not provided    replied, “I’ll do it, but I’m not mov-  includes underwriting the cost of
          Medicare and a Medicare              directly by the government like     ing to Lincoln.”  Our office is in   school buses to transport children
          Advantage Plan.                      Medicare is. Many resources about   the historic 1879 Burlington        to cultural events.
             With Original Medicare:           Medicare often skip Part C when     Building, built as the Burlington      The arts offer abundant oppor-
          You can usually choose to see any    talking about Medicare benefits     and Missouri River Railroad         tunities for citizen participation
             doctor (but check with the doctor   because it is not a separate benefit   headquarters.  While my staff   beyond attending concerts and
             first as some have dropped out    like Parts A, B and D.              lives in Omaha, I live in Lincoln,   exhibits.  Most organizations in
             of the original Medicare pro-        Part D refers to Medicare’s pre-  so the work my agency does for     Lincoln and the surrounding area
                                                                                   the Capitol City and surrounding    offer senior discounts, and many,
                                                                                   area is of great interest to me     such as the Lincoln Municipal
                                                                                   personally.                         Band Summer Concert Series in
                Lunchtime at an Automat in NYC 1957                                   The nonprofit arts industry is   Antelope Park, are free.  The arts
                                                                                   important to economic develop-      community provides lots of child
                                                                                   ment and quality of life, particular-  friendly activities, too.  For exam-
                                                                                   ly in Lincoln.  In a recent study,   ple, the Lincoln Symphony has
                                                                                   Arts and Economic Prosperity 5      family concerts on Sunday after-
                                                                                   commissioned by the Lincoln Arts    noons that include face painting,
                                                                                   Council, the annual economy         a musical instrument petting zoo
                                                                                   activity of the arts is $99 million   and a craft activity related to that
                                                                                   and supports over 2,900 full time   afternoon’s performance.
                                                                                   jobs.  $10 million in revenue is       Recent studies find that partici-
                                                                                   returned to state and local gov-    pating in the arts creates paths to
                                                                                   ernment.  One out of every five-    healthy aging. If you’re interested
                                                                                   audience members who attend an  in acting for example, the Lincoln
                                                                                   arts event in Lincoln is from out of  Community Playhouse sponsors
                                                                                   town, and they spend over $42       Radio Active Players for 55+ par-
                                                                                   per person for event-related activ-  ticipants.  Lux Center for the Arts
                                                                                   ities.                              has adult classes in ceramics,
                                                                                      With so many museums, arts       printmaking, painting, jewelry
                                                                                   galleries and performance ven-      drawing and more.  Lectures,
                                                                                   ues, the arts are a major contribu-  gallery and pre-performance talks
                                                                                   tor to Lincoln’s high rankings in   are great ways to continue learn-
                                                                                   quality of life surveys. The Lincoln  ing.  If Lincoln’s cultural scene is
                                                                                   Partners for Public Art             new to you, a comprehensive list
                                                                                   Development, a unique partner-      can be found at
                                                                                   ship between the private sector     Pick a few, explore their websites
                                                                                   and the City, has placed world-     and get started!
                                                                                   class sculpture in public spaces
                         Lincoln 55+ Seniors Paper        Time and Temp - 402-476-9211       Fall 2020 - Page - 4
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