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Director's Message

Medicare Part D November 2006

November 2006: Medicare Part D Act 2: Open Enrollment

November 15 marks the first day of open enrollment for the Medicare prescription drug programs across the US. This is the time to review your experience with the plan that you chose last year and to decide if you want to make any changes. By now you should have received the Medicare & You booklet and a packet from your current company with changes to your current plan and its formulary (drug list). If you have a retirement plan, you should soon receive a letter that states whether it is still creditable, that is, as good or better than the standard Medicare D plan.


Medicare states that if you have coverage you like, you need do nothing. But because the plans can change premiums, copays and formularies, it behooves you to take a look. Are you happy with your experience this year? Did you save money? Did the coverage match your utilization? Did you meet the initial deductible? Did you get to the “donut hole” where you had to pay 100%? Was the plan easy to use with your medications and pharmacy? Were customer service representatives helpful? Were all your medications covered? What is the cost of renewing for 2007?


There are 57 plans to choose from in NJ for 2007, ranging in cost from $10.20 to $135.70 per month. Some have no deductible, some cover the coverage gap or “donut hole” with at least generic drugs. Copays may vary for different drugs and costs may vary between pharmacies, even within the same plan. Look at the formularies and cost tiers for your medications.


So what do you do? Here are some helpful options:

  1. Come to the Information Session at SuzannePattersonBuilding on November 3 at 1 pm. We will review the changes in Medicare B and D, and answer questions.
  2. Go to or call 1-800-MEDICARE to review options for 2007, check formularies, and other important information. On the website you will find a spreadsheet for comparison of all plans, and you can personalize a comparison. You are welcome to use computers at the Suzanne Patterson Building.
  3. Go to the websites for the program providers to read about details of their programs
  4. Call to speak to one of the PSRC social service team. 
  5. Call SHIP at 584-5900, option 1 and make an appointment with a counselor who comes to the Spruce Circle office.


It is important to move on this quickly as Open Enrollment ends on December 31, 2006. After that date you can not make changes. It is recommended that you make changes by December 8 to have new cards in place by January 1.


 Don’t forget that it may be best for you and your spouse to choose different plans, and  to check whether you qualify for “extra help” if you have a low income. From assisting many of you with your initial choice, I know that some chose the least expensive plan because you had few prescription costs, while others went with a familiar provider. I would love to hear from you about your experience this year. I haven’t heard much, which leads me to believe that many of you were pleasantly surprised. Hearing your stories will help me assist others and give feedback to those who advise and make the plans.


Medicare Part B premiums will also change in 2007, as those in higher income brackets will begin to pay higher premiums. 


Medicare is also starting a new website: Once you get a personal password, you can access your account to see the status of your Part B deductible, order replacement cards, print forms, check your claims history, and receive email reminders and preventive service information.


In related news, the National Council on Aging is urging everyone to press Congress to eliminate the penalty for late enrollment, and the Department of Homeland Security has been confiscating medications ordered in Canada when mailed to the US.


Susan W. Hoskins, LCSW


Previous Messages

October 2017: HomeFriends Celebrates 30 Years!

September 2017: Annual Report

July/August 2017: Preferred Caregivers: Daughters

June 2017: Cues & Clues

May 2017: Recharging

April 2017: GrandPals Celebrate 20 Years!

March 2017: Multi-generational Households

February 2017: No One Ages Well Alone

January 2017: Help at Home

December 2016: Gratitude

November 2016: Family Caregiving

October 2016: Annual Report

September 2016: Corporate Healthcare

July/ August 2016: Strategic Planning

June 2016: Is Your Home Age- Friendly?

May 2016 Part 2 : We Need Your Help

May 2016 Part 1: Going Solo

April 2016: Volunteering

March 2016: Partners In Caring

February 2016: PSRC's Strategic Plan

January 2016: Hope

December 2015: Gratitude

November 2015: Helicopter Children

October 2015: Is Princeton An Age Friendly Community?

September 2015: Annual Report

July & August 2015: Family and Community

June 2015: A Gift that Keeps Giving

May 2015: Is 60 the New 40

April 2015: Spring

March 2015: On Being Mortal

February 2015: Mentoring

January 2015: Winter Blues

December 2014 - Leaving A Legacy

October 2014 An Age Friendly Future

September 2014 Annual Report

July - August 2014

June 2014 - Romance After 50

May 2014 - Your Virtual Estate

April 2014 - Memory and Forgetting

March 2014 - Aging in Community

Observational Stay

February 2014 - Family Caregiving

January 2014: Attitudes about Aging

December 2013 - Giving

November 2013 - Healthcare Marketplace

October 2013 - Annual Report 2013

September 2013 - Total Brain Health® Fair

July - August 2013 My cat, My Father and Me

June 2013 - Age Friendly Communities

May 2013 - Navigating a Changing HealthCare Landscape

April 2013 - Becoming Visible

March 2013 - Navigating Life’s Transitions

February 2013 - Partners in Caring Princeton

January 2013 - Men as Caregivers

December 2012 - The Safety Net

November 2012 - Going Solo

October 2012 - Documenting Your History

September 2012 - A Journey of Transformation

July - August 2012 - Gratitude & Moving

June 2012 - Diversity

May 2012- Aging in America


March 2012 - Patient-centered Care

February 2012 - Can you Spare an Hour?

January 2012 - Challenges & Opportunities

December - Are you Prepared for Emergencies?

November - We need YOU!

October - Chocolate for Memory

September- Looking Back and Looking Forward

July - August 2011; Ageism

June 2011 - Accessibility

May 2011 - Paper retention

Knit Wits, April 2011

Lessons and Legacies, March 2011

Independent Living February 2011

Home Safety January 2011

Witness to my Life December 2010

Elections, benefits and open enrollment November 2010

Retire in 3D!

Strategic Planning September 2010

Am I Old? July 2010

Memory Clutter June 2010

Aging In America May 2010

Volunteering April 2010

Spirituality March 2010

Estate Planning February 2010

Encore Careers January 2010

Hiring Home Care December 2009

Annual Giving by Sharon Naeole November 2009

Flu Pandemic 2009 October 2009

Healthy Memory, Healthy Mind September 2009

A Personal Perspective on Caregiving July/August 2009


Wei Ji: Crisis, Danger and Opportunity April 2009

Write your own obituary March 2009

Hobbies February 2009

Hope and Vision in Challenging Times
January 2009

Medicare Changes 2008: Take A Look! December 2008

Scams, Frauds and Rip-offs November 2008

Engaged Retirement: Beyond Financial Planning October 2008

September 2008 Caregiver Dilemmas

Finding Rhythm and Purpose July/August 2008

Spring Cleaning II June 2008

V + OA = ER (Volunteering + Older Americans=Engaged Retirement)May 2008

Spring Cleaning April 2008

Have You Had the Talk Yet? March 2008

Get Moving with FitRhythms™! February 2008

My Condolences January 2008

Advocacy December 2007

What Are Social Services? November 2007

Sensitive Topics October 2007

Plan for the Future September 2007

The Up-side of Aging Summer 2007

Volunteering June 2007

Strategic Plan May 2007

National Conference on Aging: Let's ReThink Aging April 2007

Brain Health March 2007

Resiliency February 2007

Transportation January 2007

Season of Giving December 2006

Medicare Part D November 2006

April Hill McElroy October 2006

Civic Engagement September 2006

Change June 2006

White House Conference on Aging May 2006

Hearing Loss April 2006

GrandPals March 2006

Lets Talk February 2006

Eldertopia January 2006

Hoarding December 2005

Annual Report: November 2005

Are You Prepared? October 2005

Planning Ahead October 2005

Watch Your Language September 2005

Medicare Part D Summer 2005

Sue Tillett June 2005

The End of the Journey May 2005

Clutter March 2005

New Dietary Guidelines February 2005

Transitions January 2005

Funding December 2004

Caregiving November 2004

Civic Engagement with GrandPals October 2004

A New Look September 2004

Safe Driving Summer 2004

Food Safety June 2004

Communication June 2004

The Challenge of Giving Care May 2004

Seniors On The Move April 2004

Depression March 2004

McGreevey February 2004

Medications January 2004

Random Acts of Kindness December 2003

Civic Engagement November 2003

Reverse Mortgages Oct 2003

Emergency Preparedness, Jan 2003

© Princeton Senior Resource Center
45 Stockton Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
Suzanne Patterson Building 609-924-7108
Spruce Circle 609-252-2362
Suzanne Patterson Building 9AM-5:00PM
Spruce Circle 10:00AM-4:00PM,
Every Weekday Unless Otherwise Noted