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Time is running out for Medicare plan enrollment

The 2011 General Enrollment for Medicare Prescription Plans (Part D) and Medicare Advantage Plans has changed to Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2011.

We highly recommend anyone enrolled in Part D, or needing to enroll, to schedule an appointment. The program(s) can, and sometimes do, change their deductible, the drugs they cover and how much you pay for the drug. Some of the low income plans will no longer be offering services to the low income this year; however, they may still offer to enroll you at a higher cost.

• Are you enrolled automatically in a plan through Medicaid? Auto enrollment plans may not be right for you and specific to your needs

• Don’t get caught by surprise; make sure you are enrolled in the plan that best suits your needs. Your neighbor may have a great plan, but it may not be great for you. The best plan for you is based on your specific drugs. Beware of letters you receive encouraging you to buy their program; it may not be best for you.

• Read any material you receive in the mail in regards to your plan; it may contain information on plan changes.

• Low income beneficiaries may qualify for extra help with drug costs.

• Remember, Medicare will never call you selling a product; never give out your Medicare number.

• When in doubt, contact our SHIP office located at the Senior Center

You are encouraged to make your appointment early. As we move later into open enrollment, we are extremely busy and want to make sure that we are able to meet your needs.

For further information or to schedule an appointment, call 264-2167.

Opportunity or scam?

Recently, there has been an increase in consumers reporting work-at-home scams to the AARP call center. Please be aware of some of the common red flags of this type of fraud. Please share with family and friends.

The jobs might be different, but the message is the same — start earning a great living today working from home in your spare time.

When money’s tight, work-at-home opportunities can sound like just the thing to make ends meet. Some even promise a refund. But the reality is many of these jobs are scams.

?Here are some examples of work-at-home schemes to avoid:

• Envelope stuffing. For a “small” fee, the ad says, you’ll learn how to earn lots of money stuffing envelopes at home. Then you find out that once you pay the promoter you never get paid for the work.

• Assembly or craft work. You can make money assembling crafts or other products at home. However, you may have to invest hundreds of dollars for equipment or supplies.

• Rebate processing. The ad says you can earn money by helping to process rebates. You find that there are no rebates to process, and few people ever see a refund.

• Online searches. The ad claims that you can earn thousands of dollars a week running Internet searches on prominent search engines and filling out forms. After you pay, you find this company is not legitimate and just wanted your credit card information.

• Medical billing. The ads lure you in with promises of a substantial income from processing medical claims electronically. After purchasing their equipment, you find that competition in the medical billing market is fierce and not many people who purchase programs get clients.

?Beware of promises of a big income for work from home, especially when the “opportunity” involves a fee or divulging your credit card information.

Here are some questions to ask first and be sure to get their answers in writing:

• What tasks will I have to perform? Will I be paid a salary or will I be paid on commission?

• What is the basis for your claims about my likely earnings? Who will pay me?

• What is the total cost of this work-at-home program, including supplies, equipment and membership fees? What will I get for my money?

?Also, check out the company with your local consumer protection agency, state Attorney General and the Better Business Bureau, not only where the company is located, but also where you live. These organizations can tell you whether they’ve gotten complaints about a particular work-at-home program. But be wary: just because there aren’t complaints doesn’t mean the company is legitimate. Unscrupulous companies may settle complaints, change their names or move to avoid detection. Call (800) 222-4444 or go to www.aarpelderwatch.org.

Special events

Thanksgiving meal. Wednesday, Nov. 23. Salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m.; meal served at noon. Suggested donation age 60-plus is $3, guests $6.

Norm Frazer, crime scene investigator with the Archuleta County sheriff’s Department, will be here Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 12:30 p.m. to share with you how to “protect yourself from burglary.”

Movie and popcorn

The 2009 Oscar-winning film “Avatar” takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a reluctant hero embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. Enjoy this great film in our lounge on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at 1 p.m. Voted number one pick of the month by senior center staff members.

Transportation

Not driving anymore? Car in the shop?

Get to where you need to go; available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. For seniors age 60-plus, suggested donation is $2 per day. Call for details, 264-2167.

Home meal delivery

These meals are the same as those prepared in our kitchen for those scrumptious senior center meals. Our hot meal home-delivery program remains available to those closer to town four days per week, with frozen meals on Thursdays and weekends. Meals are available to people age 60-plus for a suggested donation of $3 per meal. Give us a call at 264-2167 for further information. Donations are greatly appreciated.

Weekly Activities at The Den

Friday, Nov. 18 — 9 a.m. Geezers; 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk.

Monday, Nov. 21 — 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Canasta.

Tuesday, Nov. 22 — 12:30 p.m. Gym Walk; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Thursday, Nov. 24-25 — Closed for Thanksgiving.

This week’s menu

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $3, kids 12 and under and guests $6. Our meal program is partially funded through the Older Americans Act via the San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging, United Way, Archuleta County, Town of Pagosa Springs and other donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $11.51. Please note our menu is subject to change. The salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m. with lunch served from noon to 12:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 18 — Hearty ground beef and cabbage casserole, whipped potatoes, seasoned green beans, bread pudding.

Monday, Nov. 21 — Chicken Alfredo, Harvard beets, cranberry sauce, whole wheat bread, tossed salad, winter fruit salad.

Tuesday, Nov. 22 — Beef stew, corn niblets, herbed green beans, winter fruit salad, cornbread.

Wednesday, Nov. 23 — Roast turkey with gravy, winter blend vegetables, cornbread stuffing, whipped potatoes, cranberry sauce, whole wheat roll, tossed salad, pumpkin pie.

Thursday, Nov. 24-25 — Closed for Thanksgiving.

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