Category: Medicare Advantage

Warning Retirees: 5 (or 6) Annual Enrollment Dates You Don’t Want to Miss

Warning Retirees: 5 (or 6) Annual Enrollment Dates You Don’t Want to Miss

Clip these dates up on your fridge. Write them on your calendar. Sticky note them to your bathroom mirror or your spouse’s forehead (or maybe not). Annual enrollment is approaching!

 

But before we get into the dates, you’ll first want to know…

 

What Is Annual Enrollment?

Annual enrollment is the busy time of the year for Insurance agencies such as ours. Department stores have their black Friday. Local ice cream shops have their last day of school. And Insurance companies have the Annual Enrollment Period. During this roughly 3-month time frame (October 15- December 7), all Medicare beneficiaries are free to change their plans. They can switch from:

  • An Advantage Plan to a Medicare Supplement
  • A Medicare Supplement to an Advantage Plan
  • One Advantage Plan to another
  • One Part D Drug Plan to another
  • One Medicare Supplement to another (Although you can do this at any point during the year)

The Annual Enrollment Period is for any existing Medicare beneficiary. For those just turning 65 and joining Medicare, you have a different enrollment period called the Initial Enrollment Period, which is the 7-month time frame that surrounds your 65th birthday month. But for those of you who have already enrolled for the 1st time, this is for you!

 

There are 6 very important dates for you to remember.

  1. October 1

This is the day we get all the plan changes, details, benefits, and prices for the following year. It is also when we can start talking to you about which ones will best fit your needs.

  1. October 15

Let the games begin! Annual enrollment is officially started. You can now enroll in a new plan.

  1. December 7

I hope you like the choices you’ve made because, at this date, you are locked into your plans for another year. Annual enrollment is closed.

  1. January 1

It’s a new year, a new resolution, and—quite possibly—new insurance. This is the date any changes you made during the open enrollment period go into effect.

  1. January 1

I apologize for the unsettling déjà vu. I know this is a repeat, but I want to emphasize why this date is doubly important: It is also the first day of the Advantage Plan disenrollment period. Just in case you’ve got some buyer’s remorse, Medicare set up a disenrollment period where you can get out of your Advantage Plan.

  1. February 14

All good things must come to an end. This is the last day of Medicare’s disenrollment period. If you are in an Advantage Plan and don’t like it, this is your last chance to drop it!

BONUS: February 14th is also Valentine’s Day. You’re welcome.

 

And that’s it! I hope you commit these dates to memory or you write them down somewhere. If you forget it, you might regret it!

 

To be sure you have covered ALL of your bases, be sure to download our AEP Checklist by clicking here.

 

Look to switch plans during open enrollment?  Call Seniormark at 937-492-8800 for a free consultation.

6 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Their 2 Medicare Choices

6 Things Everyone Needs to Know About Their 2 Medicare Choices

Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements. Two feasible choices. Two Medicare buzzwords. One startling misconception. And here it is: Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplements are the same.

 

But this is just not true…not even a little. In fact, Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare Supplements are fundamentally different. So different that not knowing these differences could cost you…in convenience, in security, and in dollar signs.

 

So…without further ado…these are the 6 things you need to know about the 2 Medicare choices:

 

  1. Medicare Supplements pay secondary. Medicare Advantage Pays Instead.

The “street name” for a Medicare supplement is a “Medigap” plan, and it is a nickname rightfully earned. Medigap plans are called as such because they “fill in the gaps” of what traditional Medicare (Parts A and B) doesn’t cover. Therefore, you will have little to no out-of-pocket expenses. A Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t do this. It functions as an alternative for traditional Medicare. This means that—if the Advantage plan doesn’t cover it—you can be stuck with some pesky deductibles, copays and coinsurance.

 

  1. Medicare Advantage Plans have Networks. Medicare Supplements Don’t.

Medicare Advantage plans contract with specific hospitals and health care providers. And if you don’t go to their pre-picked “network” of providers, your share of the costs may rise. In some cases (especially out of state), the plan may not cover you if you receive care at a hospital outside of their network (except in the case of emergency)! Medicare Supplements allow you to go to any doctor or hospital you want as long as they accept Medicare.

 

  1. Medicare Supplements Don’t Change. Advantage Plans Do.

Since Advantage Plans are funded by government subsidies, their benefits are greatly affected by politics. The more money they can get from the government, the better their benefits and premiums can be. This means that plans will likely change from year to year and you may have to reevaluate, re-shop, and re-enroll in a different plan. Medicare Supplement plans are the opposite. Since the policyholder funds them, the plans are usually consistent from year to year.

 

  1. You Can Always Change to an Advantage Plan. You Can’t Always Change to a Medicare Supplement.

If you are in a Medicare Supplement plan, you can switch to an Advantage plan without any medical health questioning as long as it is during the annual enrollment period. It doesn’t matter if you have pre-existing conditions (with the exception of kidney failure); you will still be able to obtain coverage.

 

However, if you want to switch from an Advantage plan to a Medicare Supplement, it is not as simple. Although you can still enroll during annual enrollment, you will have to qualify based on your health. This can be a problem for those with pre-existing conditions. For instance, let’s say the government curbs their funding for your Advantage Plan. This raises the premium and lessens the benefits significantly. You have cancer. You can’t change to a Medicare Supplement because you couldn’t qualify based on health. What do you do? More than likely, you will have to stay with your unwanted Advantage plan!

 

  1. Medicare Supplement Have Premiums. Advantage Plans Have Low Or No Premiums.

While the average Medicare Supplement premium is up around $100-120 a month for a 65 year-old, the average Advantage plan premium is about 50-60. And (aside from your Part B premium) they may be completely free!

 

  1. Two Choices Can Quickly Become Two Hundred.

You only have two options in the beginning, but once you choose a route—whether Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement—it will likely multiply into many more choices. There are 11 supplements, 24 drug plans, and dozens of Advantage plans. Not to mention the other decisions you have to make regarding when and how to go about signing up for Medicare to avoid penalties. Like I always tell my clients, Medicare is a big animal. I always recommend consulting with a retirement advisor for help.

 

Turning 65 soon and not sure what to do? Click here to sign up for our free Medicare workshop. No high-pressure sales pitches here, just in-depth discussion about the ins and outs of Medicare!

Do you “wonder” who is turning 65? Read below to find out!

Lynda-Carter

July 12—Cheryl Ladd

Cheryl_Ladd The actress, singer and author is best known for her role as Kris Munroe in the ABC television series Charlie’s Angels, replacing Farrah-Fawcett Majors. The popular 1976 to 1981 series followed the adventures of three women working in a private detective agency in Los Angeles. Born in South Dakota, Ladd initially came to Hollywood in 1970 to begin a career in music as a singing voice on Hanna-Barbera’s Josie and the Pussycats animated series. She soon began to land non-singing roles in commercials and episodic television, including guest appearances on shows such as The Rookies, The Partridge Family and Happy Days. The Charlie’s Angels series made her an overnight star, and Ladd guest-starred in musical-comedy variety series and specials, plus she released three albums, including a Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 single and a Gold record. In 2000, Ladd starred on Broadway in a revival of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun.

Following Charlie’s Angels, Ladd starred in more than 30 made-for-television films, including as Grace Kelly and in Purple Hearts, Millennium and Poison Ivy. Ladd had the lead role in the television series One West Waikiki (1994–96), and made guest appearances in other TV shows. She’s published two books: the children’s book The Adventures of Little Nettie Windship (1996) and Token Chick: A Woman’s Guide to Golfing With the Boys (2005).

July 24—Lynda Carter

Lynda-CarterThe actress, singer, songwriter and beauty pageant titleholder starred in the TV series Wonder Woman from 1975 to 1979. In 1978, Carter was voted “The Most Beautiful Woman in the World” by the International Academy of Beauty and the British Press Organization. Carter started out by winning a local Arizona beauty contest and gained national attention in the United States by winning Miss World USA, representing Arizona. After taking acting classes at several New York acting schools, she made her first acting appearance on the 1974 police drama Nakia. She then began making appearances on such TV shows as Starsky and Hutch and Cos, and in several “B” movies.

Carter’s acting career took off when she landed the starring role on Wonder Woman as the title character and her secret identity, Diana Prince. Carter’s earnest performance endeared her to fans and critics, such that Carter continues to be closely identified with Wonder Woman. Credits since then include the title role in Rita Hayworth: The Love Goddess (1983) and a variety of her own musical TV specials, including Lynda Carter’s Special (1980) and Body and Soul (1984). Throughout the 1990s, Carter appeared in a string of television movies. In 2001, she was cast in the independent comedy feature Super Troopers as Vermont Governor Jessma, and played a washed-up, former beauty queen in The Creature of the Sunny Side Up Trailer Park (2004). Carter made her first appearance in a major feature film in numerous years in the big-screen remake of The Dukes of Hazzard (2005).

In 2005, Carter played “Mama Morton” in the West End London production of Chicago. In 2007, Carter toured the U.S. with her one-woman musical cabaret show, An Evening with Lynda Carter. In June 2009, her second album, At Last, was released and reached No. 10 on Billboard’s Jazz Albums Chart. In June 2011, she released her third album, Crazy Little Things, Carter is married to Washington, D.C, attorney Robert A. Altman, and they have two children. They live in Potomac, Md.

Source: Wikipedia

Look who’s Turning 65! (You might be surprised!)

Look Who’s Turning 65

April 6—Bert Blyleven

Source http://www.flickr.com/photos/35602564@N00/5513027855/ ES

Born in the Netherlands, Blyleven is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1970 to 1992 and was best known for his curveball. In 2011, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Blyleven was drafted straight out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 1969, and at age 19 in 1970, was called up to the Majors after only 21 minor league starts. In his first season, his sharp curveball helped him to 10 victories, and he was named American League (AL) Rookie Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News. In 1973, he pitched the most shutouts of any AL pitcher, with 9.

In 1976, Blyleven was traded to the Texas Rangers, and his 2.74 career earned run average (ERA) with the Rangers remains the best in team history. After he gave the finger to a television camera, Blyleven was traded in 1977 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, with which he led the team in ERA, strikeouts and complete games in 1978 and helped them to a World Series victory in 1979. In 1980, Blyleven was traded to the Cleveland Indians but sat out most of the 1982 and 1983 seasons. He came back in 1984 with one of his best seasons: a 19–7 record with a 2.87 ERA. In 1985, he again led the AL in shutouts with 5 and pitched 293 ⅔ innings and completed 24 games, a feat never repeated. However, Blyleven forced a trade back to the Twins, where he passed the 3,000-strikeout mark and helped the Twins to a 1987 World Series victory.

Blyleven’s first two full seasons back with the Twins also produced major league records for home runs allowed in a single season (50) and in back-to-back seasons (96). He never surrendered more than 24 home runs in any year before and after the 1986–87 campaigns, averaging 21 allowed per season over the course of his career. In 1989, Blyleven went to the California Angels and pitched a 2.73 ERA for a 17–5 record in his first season, and led the league for his third and final time in shutouts (5). He retired following the 1992 season with a career 287–250 record, with 3,701 strikeouts (only 16 other pitchers have at least 3,000 career strikeouts) and a 3.31 ERA. In 1996, Blyleven became a color commentator for the Twins.


April 7—Janis Ian

source https://www.flickr.com/photos/dubpics/71293417/in/photostream/

An American singer-songwriter who was mostly active in the 1960s and 1970s, Ian’s most successful songs were “Society’s Child” and “At Seventeen.” At the age of 13, she wrote and sang her first hit single, “Society’s Child (Baby I’ve Been Thinking),” about an interracial romance forbidden by a girl’s mother and frowned upon by her peers and teachers. After it became a national hit in the summer of 1967, some radio stations banned it from their playlists, and Ian received hate mail and death threats. In 2001, “Society’s Child” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. “At Seventeen,” a bittersweet commentary on adolescent cruelty, was released in 1975 and was a major hit, receiving acclaim from critics and record buyers alike, and winning the 1975 Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance – Female. The album, Between the Lines, was also a smash, reaching No. 1 on Billboard’s Album chart and was quickly certified Gold and later earned a Platinum certification for over one million copies sold in the U.S.

In 1979, “Fly Too High” earned Ian a Grammy nomination and became a hit single in many countries, including South Africa, Belgium, Australia, Israel and the Netherlands. Ian’s album Aftertones topped Oricon’s album chart in October 1976. After “At Seventeen,” she reached the pop charts only once more with “Under the Covers” at No. 71 in 1981. However, Ian continued to write songs from 1982 to 1992, which have been covered by, among others, Amy Grant, Bette Midler and Marti Jones. She released Breaking Silence in 1993, about coming out as a lesbian, and Folk Is the New Black, in 2006, her first album in more than two decades.

Ian’s short stories have been published in science fiction anthologies. In 2008, she released her autobiography Society’s Child to critical acclaim. An accompanying double CD, The Autobiography Collection, has been released with many of Ian’s best loved songs. In December 2015, Ian appeared in the series finale of HBO comedy series Getting On, playing a patient who refused to stop singing.


April 10—Steven Seagal

Author=Gage Skidmore

A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, actor Seagal began his adult life as a martial arts instructor in Japan. After moving to Los Angeles, he worked as a martial arts instructor on the movie Never Say Never Again, accidentally breaking actor Sean Connery’s wrist during production. In 1988, Seagal made his acting debut in Above the Law, which was followed by four successful films. He achieved further fame in 1992, when he played Navy SEALs counter-terrorist expert Casey Ryback in Under Siege. During the latter half of the 1990s, Seagal starred in three more theatrical films and the direct-to-video film The Patriot.

Since that time, his career has shifted almost entirely to direct-to-video productions (released to the public on video instead of to movie theaters)—a total of 27 from 1998 to 2014. At the age of 58, he starred in his first widely released film since 2002, the 2010 film Machete. Between 2009 and 2013, he filmed three seasons of his reality show Steven Seagal: Lawman, which depicted him as a reserve deputy sheriff in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana (season 1–2) and Maricopa County, Arizona (season 3). He also created and starred in two seasons of the undercover police drama series True Justice between 2011 and 2012.

As an accomplished guitarist, Seagal released two studio albums (Songs from the Crystal Cave and Mojo Priest) and performed on numerous film scores. As a businessman, Seagal is estimated to be worth anywhere from $5 million to $16 million (as of 2015). Steven Seagal Enterprises markets his own energy drink, Lightning Bolt, and represents the Russian firearms manufacturer ORSIS. He is a supporter of both the 14th Dalai Lama and Vladimir Putin, calling Putin “one of the great living world leaders.”


April 21—Tony Danza

Author=Larry D. Moore

Born Antonio Salvatore Iadanza, the Italian-American actor is best known for starring on the TV series Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award and four Golden Globe Awards. A professional boxer, Danza got his start on Taxi after a producer discovered him at a boxing gymnasium in New York. On Taxi, he played a cab driver and part-time boxer on the award-winning comedy that aired from 1978 to 1982 on ABC and from 1982 to 1983 on NBC. From 1984 to 1992, he starred in ABC’s popular comedy Who’s the Boss?, in which he portrayed retired baseball player, housekeeper and single father Tony Micelli.

Danza also starred in the short-lived sitcoms Hudson Street (1995) and The Tony Danza Show (1997), for which he won the 1998 People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male Performer in a New Television Series. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for a guest-starring role in the 1998 TV series The Practice. He made his movie debut in the comedy The Hollywood Knights (1980), which was followed by Going Ape! (1981). Danza received critical acclaim for his performance in the 1999 Broadway revival of the Eugene O’Neill play The Iceman Cometh.

Danza hosted his own TV talk show, The Tony Danza Show, which ended in May 2006. He starred on Broadway as Max Bialystock in The Producers in 2006-2007. In 2010, he had his own reality show Teach: Tony Danza (on A&E), in which he co-instructed a 10th grade English class in Philadelphia. The book I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High, was released in 2012 and was based on his year of teaching.


April 27—Ace Frehley

source: http://flickr.com/photo/43547797@N00/257190364 using Flickr upload bot

Best known as the former lead guitarist and founding member of the rock band Kiss, Frehley adopted the persona of the “Spaceman” or “Space Ace” and played with the group from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. After leaving Kiss, Frehley embarked on a solo career, which was put on hold when he rejoined Kiss in 1996 for a highly successful reunion tour. His second tenure with Kiss lasted until 2002, when he left at the conclusion of what was originally purported to be the band’s Farewell Tour. His most recent solo album, Space Invader, was released in 2014.

Guitar World magazine ranked him as the 14th greatest metal guitarist of all time. His solos often incorporate the minor pentatonic scale and the usage of vibratos. Outside of Kiss, Frehley has continued to be commercially successful, with his first solo album going platinum. He is also known for the use of many “whimsical” guitars, including a Gibson Les Paul guitar that emits smoke from the neck humbucker pickup and produces spinning pyrotechnics, and a custom Les Paul that emits light based on song tempo.


Source: Wikipedia

 

Next “Solving the Medicare Puzzle Workshop” date set!

workshop solving the medicare puzzle

Announcing our next Solving the Medicare Puzzle Workshop, Tuesday, March 15, at 5:30 pm at our Troy office. Please call our office at 937-492-8800 to reserve one or more seats for yourself or a friend!

Happy birthday to these celeb favorites!

Look Who’s Turning 65…

Crystal Gayle   January 9 — Crystal Gayle, an award-winning country music singer, is best known for her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” During the 1970s and 1980s she accumulated 20 No. 1 country hits with six albums certified gold. Gayle became the first female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales with her 1977 album We Must Believe in Magic. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister of singer Loretta Lynn, who once told her, “You record what I couldn’t record—you do MOR,” middle of the road, “and that was the best advice I could get. I don’t think I ever would have made it if I went down the road and did the music my sister did. I would only have been compared to her.”

Gayle had her greatest success from 1977 to 1989 when she did music considered crossover. Her hits included “When I Dream,” “Talking in Your Sleep,” “Why Have You Left the One You Left Me For,” “Half the Way,” “It’s Like We Never Said Goodbye,” “You and I” (a duet with Eddie Rabbitt), “The Sound of Goodbye,” “Turning Away,” “Makin’ Up For Lost Time,” “Cry” and “Another World.” Gayle continues to perform and tour.

KirstieAlleyJanuary 12 — Kirstie Alley, an American actress and comedian, is best known for her role in the TV series Cheers, in which she played Rebecca Howe from 1987 to 1993, winning an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award as the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series in 1991. She is also known for her role in the thriller Shoot to Kill and the Look Who’s Talking film series as Mollie Ubriacco. More recently, Alley has appeared in reality shows revolving around her life.

Alley made her movie debut in 1982 in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, playing the Vulcan Starfleet officer Lieutenant Saavik. In 1987, she joined the cast of Cheers, replacing Shelley Long and remaining on the show until its eleventh and final season. In 1989, Alley starred with John Travolta in Look Who’s Talking, which grossed over $295,000,000 worldwide. They went on to make two other films centered on the same theme, Look Who’s Talking Too and Look Who’s Talking Now! In recent years, Alley’s weight gain and loss has received much public attention. In September 2012, she appeared on The Dr. Oz Show, where she said she spent her whole life eating obsessively. She has been a member of the Church of Scientology since 1979.

Eric HolderJanuary 21 – Eric Holder, Jr. was the 82nd attorney general of the United States from 2009 to 2015. Serving in the administration of President Barack Obama, Holder is the first African American to hold the position of U.S. attorney general. Previously, he served as a judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, after being appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed him United States attorney for the District of Columbia, the first black American in that office, and in 1997, nominated him the deputy attorney general under Janet Reno. While U.S. attorney, Holder prosecuted Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (DIllinois) for corruption charges related to his role in the congressional post office scandal.

During Obama’s presidential campaign Holder was his senior legal adviser and one of three members of Obama’s vice-presidential selection committee. During the Fast and Furious investigation (involving guns and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), he became the only cabinet member in U.S. history to be held in contempt of Congress. From 2001 until he became attorney general, Holder worked as an attorney at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C., representing clients such as Merck and the National Football League. After he resigned as attorney general in 2014, he returned to Covington & Burling. The law firm’s clients have included many of the large banks Holder declined to prosecute for their alleged role in the financial crisis.

Phil CollinsJanuary 30 — Phil Collins is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music producer, actor and author. He gained fame as both the drummer and lead singer for the rock band Genesis, as well as worldwide success as a solo artist. Collins sang the lead vocals on dozens of hit albums and singles in the U.K. and the U.S. between 1976 and 2010, either solo or with Genesis. He is among the best-selling music artists of all time, with 33.5 million albums sold in the U.S. and an estimated 150 million worldwide. He is one of three recording artists (along with Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson) who has sold over 100 million albums worldwide both as solo artists and (separately) as principal members of a band. AllMusic describes Collins as “one of the most successful pop and adult contemporary singers of the ’80s and beyond.”

Collins joined Genesis in 1970 as the group’s drummer and became its lead singer in 1975 following Peter Gabriel’s departure. In 1981, Collins launched a solo career. His best-selling singles include “In the Air Tonight,” “Against All Odds,” “Sussudio” and “Another Day in Paradise.” His music has earned him seven Grammy Awards, six Brit Awards, an Academy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a Disney Legend Award. Totaling his work with Genesis, other artists and his solo career, Collins had more U.S. Top 40 singles than any other artist during the 1980s. In 2008, Collins was ranked the 22nd most successful artist on the “Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists.”

Source: Wikipedia

Prescription Drug Assistance: Where to Get Help

Here is a Helpful article that was recently in the Dayton Daily News.

By Marci Vandersluis

Contributing Writer

I recently visited with a couple that shared that they were having difficulty paying for some of their prescription medications. One spouse stated that some of their medications had very high out of pocket costs. These co-pays were affecting their ability to pay for some needed home repairs along with food purchases. While this article has no magic solutions on how to eliminate prescription drug costs, it should be of some relief to know that with a little perseverance, along with some web “surfing”, there are programs and services available directed towards providing prescription assistance to lower income older adults.

Since 2006, those eligible for Medicare have been encouraged to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan, which provides prescription drug coverage. The two ways to get coverage are either through adding drug coverage to original Medicare, or to enroll in a Medicare advantage plan that offers Medicare prescription drug coverage. Beneficiaries must first have Medicare A and/or B to enroll in a drug plan and must have Medicare A and B to qualify for enrollment in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan. It is important to note that while enrolling in a Medicare D plan, is voluntary, not signing soon after eligible or when other medical coverage (such as an employer sponsored plan) ceaseD-resized-600s will result in a monthly financial penalty that will continue through the duration of coverage.

Most have found that while the implementation Part “D” has provided significant cost saving, it continues to present some challenges for beneficiaries. One such frustration is the feared coverage gap or “doughnut hole.” In 2015, once the beneficiary and drug plan have spent $2960, the person is responsible for much higher of pocket costs for prescriptions. Once these costs reach $4,700 the beneficiary is only responsible for 5 percemt of prescription costs, for the remainder of the year. While Medicare is working on more discounts for those in the coverage gap with the ultimate goal of closing the gap in 2020, there are still significant costs while in the “ doughnut hole.” Monthly statements from your drug plan will outline explanation how much has been spent on medication and if you have reached the coverage gap.

Co-pays for some medications can be very expensive even when not in the coverage gap. Fortunately, for those who meet certain financial guidelines there are some programs to help with prescription drug costs. One such program is the Chubby Checker, Patty Duke, endorsed Medicare Extra-Help program. Individuals with income of approximately $17,655 yearly income ($23,895 for married couples), with resources of approximately $13,640 ($27,250 for married couples) should consider applying for this program as it can offer considerable savings. See below for the link to apply online. If there are additional circumstances, if only marginally above these guidelines, or even if in doubt regarding eligibility, it is encouraged to apply. The Medicare website also advises contacting and your specific drug plan to see if eligible for any type of extra help.


Resources

Ohio Benefit Bank-Consumer Hotline: 800-648-1176 or www.ohiobenefits.org

United Health Solutions: 937 220-6600 or www.uhs-dayton.org

Partnership for Prescription Assistance: 888-477-2669 or https://www.pparx.org

Needymeds: Helpline 800-503-6897 or http://www.needymeds.org/newuser

Ohio’s Best Rx: 866-923-7879 or http://www.ohiobestrx.org/en/index.aspx

Good RX-drug discount card: 888-799-2553 or https://www.goodrx.com

Drug companies that offer assistance:http://www.needhelppayingbills.com/html/get_free_prescription_drugs.html

Medicare information on lowering drug costs: 800-633-4227 or https://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/ways-to-lower-drug-costs.html

Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP): 800-686-1578 orhttp://www.insurance.ohio.gov/Consumer/OSHIIP/Documents/whatisoshiip.pdf

Medicare Extra Help: 800-772-1213 or www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp (Online application)

Do you “wonder” who turned 65 in May?

Famous & 65


Gabriel ByrneMay 12-May 12-
Gabriel Byrne is an Irish actor, film director, film producer, writer, cultural ambassador and audiobook narrator. People listed him as one of the “Sexiest Men Alive,” while Entertainment Weekly dubbed Byrne as one of the hottest celebrities over the age of 50. Before becoming an actor, Byrne worked as an archaeologist, cook and Spanish and history schoolteacher. His acting career began in the Focus Theatre before he joined London’s Royal Court Theatre in 1979. Byrne’s screen debut came in the Irish soap opera The Riordans and the spin-off show Bracken. He has now starred in more than 35 feature films, including The Usual Suspects, Miller’s Crossing, Stigmata, Spider and End of Days, in addition to writing two. Byrne’s producing credits include the Academy Award–nominated In the Name of the Father. He received much critical acclaim for his role as Dr. Paul Weston in the HBO drama In Treatment from 2008-2010. In 2013, Byrne starred in Oscar-winning director Costa Gavras’ Le Capital. He was cultural ambassador for Ireland until he criticized the tourism initiative “The Gathering,” describing it as an attempt by Ireland’s politicians and media to fleece wealthy Americans. In addition to being a human rights activist, Byrne is actively involved in various charities. In 2004, he was appointed a UNICEF Ireland Ambassador. Although the actor is noted as a fiercely private person, he released a documentary for the 20th Galway Film Fleadh in the summer of 2008 called Stories from Home, an intimate portrait about his life. Byrne married his long-term partner, Hannah Beth King, in August 2014.

Stevie WonderApril 12- Stevie Wonder (born Stevland Hardaway Judkins), musician, singer, songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist, has become one of the most creative and loved musical performers of the late 20th century. Wonder signed with Motown’s Tamla label at the age of 11 and was still performing in 2010. He has been blind since shortly after birth. Among Wonder’s works are the singles “Superstition,” “Sir Duke,” “You Are the Sunshine of My Life” and “I Just Called to Say I Love You.” Albums include Talking Book, Innervisions and Songs in the Key of Life. He has recorded more than 30 U.S. top 10 hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, the most ever awarded to a male solo artist. Wonder has sold more than 100 million albums and singles, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of the Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, with Wonder at number five. He is also noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday a holiday in the United States. In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2014, Wonder announced plans to release two new albums, the first in eight years: When the World Began—a collaborative LP with legendary songwriter David Foster—and Ten Billion Hearts.

Bernard May 22 – Bernard “Bernie” Taupin an English lyricist, poet and singer, is best known for his long-term collaboration with Elton John, writing the lyrics for a majority of the star’s songs, making his lyrics some of the best known in pop-rock’s history. The pair have collaborated on more than 30 albums to date. Taupin’s lyrics include the songs “Rocket Man,” “Levon,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Honky Cat,” “Tiny Dancer,” “Candle in the Wind,” “Bennie and the Jets,” “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,” “The Bitch is Back” and “Daniel.” Hits in the 1980s include “I’m Still Standing,” “I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues” and “Sad Songs.” In the 1990s, Taupin and John had more hits, including “The One,” “Club at the End of the Street” and “Believe.” In September 1997, Taupin rewrote the lyrics of “Candle in the Wind” for a tribute to the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Taupin and John had their first Broadway musical in March 2006 with Lestat: The Musical. They also collaborated on five original songs for the Miramax movie Gnomeo and Juliet, released in February 2011. In addition to writing for Elton John, Taupin has also written lyrics for use by other composers. In 2009, he debuted his American Roots Radio with Bernie Taupin, a roots music show on satellite radio Sirius XM Radio. Since the 1980s, he has lived on a ranch north of Los Angeles.

Linda ThompsonMay 23 – Linda Thompson, is an Emmy Award-winning American songwriter/lyricist and former actress and beauty pageant winner. She was Miss Tennessee Universe in 1972 when she met Elvis Presley and had a four-year relationship with him, which was portrayed in the 1981 television movie Elvis and the Beauty Queen. In 1977, Thompson became a regular on the TV series Hee Haw. She appeared as Linda Jenner in a workout video by then-husband and Olympics champion Bruce Jenner, four documentaries about Elvis Presley between 1997 and 2004 and in the short-lived Princes of Malibu, a reality show about then-husband David Foster’s efforts to improve her two sons and herself. She began her career as a lyricist with the Kenny Rogers’ single “Our Perfect Song.” Thompson collaborated with other composers, including on Josh Groban’s first hit record, “To Where You Are,” on the Celine Dion hit “Miracle,” on “Drowning” by the Backstreet Boys. She also worked with Foster on several compositions, including “I Have Nothing,” sung by Whitney Houston in the 1992 motion picture, The Bodyguard. For this, they were nominated both for the Academy Award for Best Song in 1993 and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or for Television in 1994. Thompson and Foster received the 2003 Emmy for Outstanding Music and Lyrics for “Aren’t They All Our Children” for the “The Concert for World Children’s Day.”

 

Which Saturday Night Live cast member turns 65 in March? Find out here!


William Macy March 13-
William Macy may be best known for his lead role in Fargo (1996), for which he was nominated for an Academy Award. His film career has been built mostly on his appearances in small, independent films, Macy has described himself as “sort of a Middle American, WASPy, Lutheran kind of guy . . . Everyman.” He got his start in theater and had roles in more than 50 Off-Broadway and Broadway plays in New York. Later, he appeared in numerous films that David Mamet wrote and/or directed, including House of Games, Homicide and Spartan. Other Macy roles of the 1990s and 2000s included Boogie Nights, Pleasantville, Magnolia, Jurassic Park III and Seabiscut. Macy has also had a number of roles on television. In 2003, he won two Emmy Awards, one for starring in the lead role and one as co-writer of TNT’s Door to Door, based on the true story of a door-to-door salesman born with cerebral palsy. His work on ER and Sports Night has also been recognized with Emmy nominations. In 2007, Macy starred in Wild Hogs, a film about middle-aged men, which was a financial success. In 2010, Macy received high critical acclaim for his performance in Showtime’s Shameless, eventually getting an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2014. Macy made his directorial debut with the independent drama Rudderless (2014) and serves as director-in-residence at the Atlantic Theater Company in New York. He and actress Felicity Huffman have been married since 1997.

William HurtMarch 20- William Hurt made his film debut as a troubled scientist in the science-fiction feature Altered States (1980), for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for New Star of the Year. He subsequently played a leading role, as a lawyer who succumbs to the temptations of Kathleen Turner, in the well-received neo-noir Body Heat (1981). The step-grandson of Henry Luce, founder of Time magazine and actress-writer Clare Boothe Luce, Hurt co-starred in The Big Chill. In 1985, Hurt garnered substantial critical acclaim and multiple acting awards, including an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award (British Academy of Film and Television) for Best Actor, for portraying an effeminate gay man in Kiss of the Spider Woman. He received another two Academy Award nominations for his lead performances in Children of a Lesser God (1986) and Broadcast News (1987) and for Best Supporting Actor in A History Of Violence (2005). Throughout the 1980s, Hurt remained an active stage actor, appearing in Off-Broadway productions, including Henry V, Fifth of July, Richard II and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In 1985, he received his first Tony Award nomination for the Broadway production of Hurlyburly.Hurt appeared in the cast of Vanya, an adaptation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, at the Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Oregon. In 2006, he was in the TNT mini-series adaptation of Stephen King’s Nightmares and Dreamscapes. In 2008, Hurt starred as General Thunderbolt Ross in The Incredible Hulk. He appeared as President Henry Ashton in the 2008 action-thriller Vantage Point. In 2009, Hurt became a series regular on the FX series Damages, playing a corporate whistleblower, for which Hurt earned a 2009 Primetime Emmy Award nomination in the “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” category. In September 2010, Hurt played U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson in the HBO film Too Big to Fail and starred as Captain Ahab in the 2011 television adaptation of Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick.

Martin ShortMarch 26 – Martin Short is best known for his comedy work, particularly on the TV programs SCTV and Saturday Night Live. Originally intending to pursue a career in social work, in 1977 he came to public notice in Second City Television, or SCTV, which ran for several years in Canada, then the United States. At SCTV Short developed several characters before moving on to Saturday Night Live for the 1984–1985 season, including oddball man-child Ed Grimley. In addition to his work on SCTV and SNL, Short has starred in several television specials and series of his own, including The Martin Short Show (1994-2000), as TV interviewer Jiminy Glick on Comedy Central’s Primetime Glick (2001–03) and I, Martin Short, Goes Home (2011), which follows Short’s return to his native Hamilton, Ontario. Beginning in October 2014, Short has been starring in the Fox sitcom, Mulaney, playing the boss of the show’s central character.In film, Short appeared ¡Three Amigos!, (1989), the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride and Tim Burton’s sci-fi comedy Mars Attacks! (1996); and wrote and starred in Jiminy Glick in Lalawood (2004). Short also provided the voices of several animated film characters, including in We’re Back! A Dinosaur’s Story (1993) and in Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012). In theater, Short played a lead role in the 1993 musical version of the Neil Simon film The Goodbye Girl, on Broadway, receiving a Tony Award nomination and an Outer Critics Circle Award. He had the lead role in the 1999 Broadway revival of the musical Little Me, for which he received a Tony Award and another Outer Critics Circle Award. In 2003, Short took to the stage once again in the critically acclaimed Los Angeles run of The Producers. Short performed in his satirical one-man show, with a cast of six, Martin Short: Fame Becomes Me, on Broadway and has continued to tour in his one-man show, which features many of his best-loved characters and sketches.

Dr J is 65? For real?

Sometimes, I wish this list would come out earlier in the month so we could celebrate these celebrities’ birthdays on the actual day.  But they don’t, so we get to “look back” each month.  Holy cow — look who turned 65 in February!  It’s almost hard to believe!
Mark Andrew Spitz February 10- Mark Andrew Spitz set new world records in all seven swimming events in which he competed in 1972, a record that still stands. In the process, he won seven gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Munich, an achievement surpassed only by Michael Phelps in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Since the year 1900, no other swimmer has ever gained so great a percentage of all the medals awarded for Olympic events held in a single Games as Spitz did. Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic golds plus a silver and a bronze, five Pan American golds, 31 Amateur Athletic Union titles, and eight National Collegiate Athletic Association titles. During those years, he set 33 official world records. In 1999 Spitz ranked No. 33 on ESPN SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes, the only aquatic athlete to make the list. In 1972, Spitz landed several lucrative corporate endorsement contracts and earned about $7 million in a two-year period. A poster featuring Spitz wearing his swimsuit and seven gold medals made him the hottest pin-up since Betty Grable. After his retirement from competitive swimming at age 22, he made a few TV appearances; appeared in several commercials, including for the California Milk Advisory Board; and went to work for ABC Sports in 1976. More recently Spitz has focused on his real estate company in Beverly Hills and other business ventures. As a swimmer, Spitz achieved some notoriety for his moustache in an era when other swimmers, male and female, were shaving body hair. When asked why he initially grew one, he stated, “I grew the moustache because a coach in college said I couldn’t grow one.” During the Olympics, he was quoted as saying, “I had some fun with a Russian coach who asked me if my moustache slowed me down. I said, ‘No, as a matter of fact, it deflects water away from my mouth, allows my rear end to rise and make me bullet-shaped in the water, and that’s what had allowed me to swim so great.’ He’s translating as fast as he can for the other coaches, and the following year every Russian male swimmer had a moustache.”

Peter GabrielFebruary 13- Peter Gabriel is an English singer-songwriter, musician and humanitarian activist who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and flautist of the progressive rock band Genesis. After leaving Genesis, Gabriel went on to a successful solo career. His 1986 album, So, is his most commercially successful and a certified triple platinum in the United Kingdom and five times platinum in the United States. The album’s biggest hit, “Sledgehammer,” won a record nine MTV Awards at the 1987 MTV Video Music Awards. “Sledgehammer” remains the most played music video in the history of MTV. Gabriel has been a champion of world music for much of his career. In 1982, he co-founded the WOMAD international arts festival and has continued to focus on producing and promoting world music through his Real World Records label. He has also pioneered digital distribution methods for music, co-founding OD2, one of the first online music download services. Gabriel has won numerous music awards throughout his career, including six Grammy Awards and 13 MTV Video Music Awards. AllMusic has described Gabriel as “one of rock’s most ambitious, innovative musicians, as well as one of its most political.” In 2010, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Genesis, followed by his induction as a solo artist in 2014. Gabriel has been involved in numerous humanitarian efforts and co-founded the WITNESS human rights organization in 1992. In collaboration with entrepreneur Richard Branson, Gabriel developed The Elders, which was launched by Nelson Mandela in 2007. In recognition of his many years of human rights activism, he received the Man of Peace award from the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates in 2006, and in 2008 TIME magazine named Gabriel one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Cybill ShepherdFebruary 18 – Cybill Shepherd is known for her starring roles in The Last Picture Show (1971), The Heartbreak Kid (1972), Taxi Driver (1976), Moonlighting (1985–1989), Cybill (1995–1998), The L Word (2007–2009) and Psych (2008–2013). A successful model, her picture on the cover of Glamour magazine in 1970 caught the eye of film director Peter Bogdanovich, who cast her as Jacy in The Last Picture Show. The film became a critical and box office hit, earning several Academy Awards and nominations. After a series of less-successful roles, including The Lady Vanishes, Shepherd moved back to her home town of Memphis to work in regional theatre.Back in Hollywood, Shepherd won the central role in the TV drama, The Yellow Rose (1983), opposite Sam Elliott. A year later she was cast as Maddie Hayes in ABC’s Moonlighting with Bruce Willis, which became the role that defined her career. A lighthearted combination of mystery and comedy, the series won Shepherd two Golden Globe awards. In 1990, she reprised her role as Jacy in Texasville, the sequel to The Last Picture Show. In 1997 she won her third Golden Globe award for CBS’s Cybill, a television sitcom in which the title character was loosely modeled on herself.In 2000 Shepherd’s bestselling autobiography was published, titled Cybill Disobedience: How I Survived Beauty Pageants, Elvis, Sex, Bruce Willis, Lies, Marriage, Motherhood, Hollywood, and the Irrepressible Urge to Say What I Think. She has played Martha Stewart in two television films: Martha, Inc.: The Story of Martha Stewart (2003) and Martha: Behind Bars (2005). In 2012 Shepherd became a regular on the TV series based on the film The Client List. In July 2012 she made her Broadway debut in the revival of Gore Vidal’s The Best Man. Throughout her career, Shepherd has been an outspoken activist for issues such as gay rights and abortion rights. Although she previously described herself as “a goddess-worshipping Christian Pagan Buddhist,” in October 2014, as part of the publicity for Do You Believe?, a Christian-themed film, she revealed that she had returned to her Christian faith. “I was born a Christian, sang in the choir. Then I lost touch with my savior Jesus Christ. . . . Then I just started talking to Jesus and I started to feel really good, and I got the offer to do this film.”

Julius Erving IIFebruary 22 – Julius Erving II, commonly known by the nickname Dr. J, helped launch a modern style of basketball that emphasizes leaping and play above the rim. His signature “slam” dunk has since been incorporated into the vernacular and basic skill set of the game. Erving helped legitimize the American Basketball Association (ABA), and was the best-known player in that league when it merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA) after the 1975–76 season.Erving won three championships, four Most Valuable Player Awards and three scoring titles with the ABA’s Virginia Squires and New York Nets (now the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets) and the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. He is the fifth-highest scorer in ABA/NBA history with 30,026 points (NBA and ABA combined). He was well known for slam dunking from the free throw line in Slam Dunk Contests and was the only player voted Most Valuable Player in both the ABA and NBA. In 1993 Erving was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time team. In 1994, Sports Illustrated named him one of the 40 most important athletes of all time. He was ranked by ESPN as one of the greatest athletes of the 20th Century. After his basketball career ended, he became a businessman, obtaining ownership of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Philadelphia and doing work as a television analyst. In 1997, he joined the front office of the Orlando Magic. From 1998 to 2000, he co-fielded a NASCAR Busch Series team, becoming the first ever NASCAR racing team owned completely by minorities. Source: www.wikipedia.com