News from the Reference Desk Category: Seniors

Medicare Open Enrollment

Open enrollment for Medicare D (prescription drugs) begins October 15 and runs through December 7. Changes in premiums, co-pays, deductibles and drugs covered for all drug plans may change from year to year.  Assistance with the enrollment process is available through the Village. Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) volunteers and staff use a tool from the Medicare website to help participants determine which plan is best for the coming year. They will also assess whether participants are eligible for extra help with plan premiums and co-pays. To schedule an appointment to enroll or review current plans,  call 847/870-5680. There is limited availability for appointments so calling sooner than later is advised.

For additional guidance you may want to look at the Medigap Report from Weiss Ratings. This is an online resource to which the Library subscribes. The Report provides users with a lengthy, customized report outlining all of the various Medicare supplements including Part D. It also includes costs and ratings for each provider. You can access this resource here.

2020 Mid-year Legislative Update for Seniors

calling all seniors!Would you like to learn more about how local, Cook County, state and federal officials are assisting senior members of our community during this challenging time? You may like to attend a Zoom discussion and legislative update meeting session hosted by AgeOptions and local senior service agencies. Please see the official invitation.

The North Suburban Session is scheduled for Wednesday, July 29th, 2020 from 8:30 am to 9:30 am.  Registration is not required.   Here is the login information:
Zoom access link: https://bit.ly/3ij5raM
Or, dial in via the phone: 1-312-626-6799 (Chicago)
Meeting ID: 977 1224 6886
Password: 938391
Find your local call-in number: https://zoom.us/u/ab8KMtJLY

 

 

Help Coming for Wrongly Inflated Tax Bills

According to an article in the July 6, 2019 Daily Herald, a “miscalculation” of the senior freeze property tax discount by the Cook County assessor’s mainframe computer artificially inflated thousands of tax bills for low-income homeowners in Wheeling Township.  The problem was isolated mainly to Wheeling Township seniors but a few errors were also discovered in other townships.

The Cook County Assessor’s office is issuing certificates of error to the affected homeowners. These bills will replace the ones issued by the Cook County treasurer’s office earlier this month. 3200 properties were reported to Wheeling Township Assessor Jerry Sadler but he also found about 100 other homeowners affected who were not on the list.

Those seniors eligible for the discount are encouraged to carefully check their bills. If you have questions, please contact the Wheeling Township Assessor’s office by telephone at 847-259-1515 or by email at taxpayerassistance@wheelingtownship.com. The assessor’s office will review your information.

The New Medicare ID Cards

In the last few months, new Medicare ID cards have been sent to recipients across the United States.  As several policies change and the amount of scams targeting Medicare users increase significantly, staying informed is paramount to maintaining good health and safe accounts.  Take a look at these AARP articles detailing information about the new IDs and potential scams centered around them:

MEDICARE ID CARDS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

MEDICARE ID SCAMS

AARP: Beware of New Medicare Card Scam!

Getting Help to Stay in Your Home

Many individuals would like to stay in their homes as they grow older but need help to make this happen.  For people living in the Northwest Suburbs that help is now available.  North West Housing Partnership is administering the CAPABLE (Community Aging in Place, Advancing Better Living for Elders) program.  The goal of this program is to help senior citizens remain in their homes as long as possible.  This is a pilot program modeled on one developed at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland and is the first of its kind in the Chicago area. The program helps seniors who are cognitively intact and able to stand (with or without assistance) to overcome barriers to independent living.  CAPABLE includes the services of an occupational therapist, a registered nurse and a vetted and insured handyman.  Seniors in Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Palatine and Rolling Meadows are eligible to receive a limited number of at home visits and up to a day of repairs by the handyman.  These services occur over a four-month time frame.  The only costs are for the handyman work and materials.  To apply for the CAPABLE program, seniors or their caregivers must contact North West Housing Partnership by calling (847) 969-0561 or by emailing Robyn Sandys, the executive director of North West Housing Partnership, at robynsandys@nwhp.net.