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Page 14Senior Times - November 2018Aging and Disability Resource Line: 1-800-626-6719 General Agency Telephone: (269) 966-2450200 West Michigan Avenue Suite 102 Battle Creek, MI 49017Medicare Premiums and Deductibles for 2019 AnnouncedBy: Karen Courtney, MMAP Regional Coordinator, CareWell Services SWThe Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced the Medicare Part B premiumfor 2019 will increase by $1.50to $135.50 per month for most beneficiaries. About 3.5 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will pay less than the full Part B standard monthly premium amount in 2019 due to the statutory hold harmless provision, which limits certain beneficiaries’ increase in their Part B premium to be no greater than the increase in their Social Security benefits. Late enrollment penalties may apply.Ninety Nine percent of Medicare beneficiaries have earned free Medicare Part A hospital coverage, by working and contributing for a total of 40 work quarters. Those who have not earned free Part A must pay a premium to receive their hospital coverage. That premium canbe from $240-$437 per month, depending on the number of work quarters.Some low-income beneficiaries may be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program, which is a Medicaid Buy-In program where the Part B monthly premiumis paid by Medicaid. In some circumstances, persons without Part A may be eligible to receive the Buy-In to pay their Medicare Part A Premium.The annual Part B deductible has increased from $183 to $185 for 2019. The Medicare Part A hospital inpatient deductible is $1,364 in 2019, an increase of $24 from $1,340 in 2018.The Social Security Office is your first stop for signing up for Medicare Parts A & B.The Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) can screen you for eligibilityand help you apply for the Medicare Savings Program. MMAP can also assist youwith plan comparisons and enrollments during the annual Open enrollment for Prescription Part D and Medicare Advantage Plans, which continues through December 7.Call 800-803-7174 for an appointment at a MMAP office near you.www.region3b.orgProgram Aims To Help Oaklawn Senior Patients Keep Medicines In Order At HomeBy: Lizy Lawson Young, Marketing SpecialistCareWell Services is excited to partner in a new program which aims to help recently discharged Oaklawn patients through an often-confusing maze of medications and instructions while they recover at home.Many newly discharged Oaklawn patients age 60 and older can receive specialized coaching and support so the patients avoid medicine-related errors that could return them to the hospital or complicate their medical conditions.Funded by a MichiganHealth Endowment Fund grant, the Care-Connection Health Intervention Program brings together CareWell Services, Oaklawn, and Hemmingsen Drug Store to help patients in need of assistance with their transition to life at home.“We want to keep our patients healthier longer, but most of the problems patients have at home is managing their medications,” said John Mohler, Oaklawn’s director of pharmacy.“We want to make it easier for qualifying seniors with high- risk chronic conditions to better understand how to properly take their medications, especially when prescriptions change or new ones are needed,” Mohler said.Through this program, a CareWell Services health worker or resource advocate will talk with seniors using technology. The resource advocate helps connect the patient to a local pharmacy via laptop computer, and all the patient's medications and instructions are thoroughly discussed with the pharmacist.This comprehensive medication review occurs directly between the patient at home and a Hemmingsen-based pharmacist at the drug store, even if the medications involved originate with a different pharmacy. The resource advocate then can assist the patient to follow through on the recommendations provided by the pharmacist.“Certified community health workers are lay personnel that provide face-to-face coaching, support and health education forJackie Hall (center), a community health worker with Battle Creek-based CareWell Services, works with pharmacists Chris Munden and Melynda Munden, who own Hemmingsen Drug Store, during a demonstration of the type of private “face to face” on-screen consultation recently initiat- ed through the Care-Connection Health Intervention Program.seniors, caregivers, and family members,” said Karla Fales, CEO of CareWell Services Southwest. “Everyone needs a little support and advice now and again. Our resource advocates provide that linkage and coaching support for the at risk seniors.The innovative programhas resulted in reduced hospitalization and readmissions, increased engagement between community organizations and consumers, and improved disease management support. The program has served 100 seniors at this time, and only two of those participants have been readmitted to Oaklawn.Pharmacists Chris Munden and Melynda Munden, who own the drug store, have been working with Hemmingsen pharmacists Matt Schwartz and Brynn Jenkins so each is well-versed in the technology involved and are fully trained to access the information that's vital to the patients.“It’s wonderful to be ableto take multiple health-care resources that exist in our community and connect them in a way that hasn’t been done before,” Melynda Munden said.By helping each patient understand how to take hisor her medicine, it's possible to help prevent unnecessary and costly readmissions to the hospital and give seniors more confidence in managing their post-hospitalization goals.“We are more successful together in helping seniorsstay out of the hospital and moving toward effective self management,” Fales said. “This saves money, ensures better outcomes, and improves quality of care. We couldn’t ask for better partners who care about our community and its seniors.”If you are an Oaklawn patient and are interested in more information about this patient- centered, collaborative program, you should consult your hospital- based care manager.“Everyone needs a little support and advice now and again. Our resource advocates provide that linkage and coaching support,” said Fales.More information about this program or other senior programs, contact CareWell Services at (269) 966-2450.Call us, we’re here to help!PROMOTINGHEALTH  INDEPENDENCE  CHOICE

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