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Be aware of Affordable Care Act scams

SUN Columnist

Health insurance is changing under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and starting on Oct. 1, 2013, people without Medicare who are uninsured or who buy their own coverage can sign up for health insurance through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

As with any big change, people have questions, uncertainties and some confusion as to how to sign up, what insurance to choose and how the whole system will work. This creates a situation ripe for fraud. Fraudsters often look for such situations to create new scams.

So why are we mentioning this potential for scams when people must still wait another three months (until Oct. 1, 2013) before buying coverage? Because the Federal Trade Commission has already received scam reports from consumers and other federal agencies. Scammers are trying to convince people to act, and give up money or personal information; they want to get to people before they have time to think.

While people can’t sign up now under the health care exchange (and people with Medicare coverage don’t need to sign up; that coverage isn’t designed to coordinate with Medicare benefits), they can start learning about their choices and get ready to enroll. Go to HealthCare.gov, or call (800) 318-2596, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to talk with a customer service representative. People younger than 65 who do not have Medicare can then go to this site — or call — again in October to create their account and shop for qualified health plans. You can also check out www.connectforhealthco.com/ for more information.

If you see anyone trying to enroll someone for health insurance under the ACA before Oct. 1, 2013, please say something. Every report helps us find and stop the bad guys. If you get a call like this, report it to our Archuleta County Senior Medicare Patrol office at 264-2167. The phone number on your caller ID, if there is one, or the caller’s name or location, is helpful information for us and other investigators. You can also report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by phone, toll-free, at (877)FTC-HELP.

Your report could help stop the scammers, and also help keep others from being scammed.

Medicare 101

Confused by all the literature you are receiving?

Just exactly what are Parts A, B, C and D?

Don’t know where to turn?

We have the answers.

Attend Medicare 101 where a SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) counselor will navigate you through the SHIP and explain what you need to know.

All counselors are trained through the State of Colorado Division of Insurance SHIP program and are part of Archuleta County Senior Services. There is no charge for their services and they’ll help you get what you need to know and even help you enroll through a scheduled one-on-one appointment.

The next Medicare 101 will be held Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 451 Hot Springs Blvd, at the north end of the Ross Aragon Community Center. Please register for this informative session by calling 264-2167; seating is limited to 15.

AARP Driver Safety 

A class will be held Thursday, Aug. 15, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., registration required. Cost for AARP members is $12, non-members $14.

For further information, and to register, call Lois O’Dell at 259-5589.

Rumor has it

The ladies of Stitchin’ in the Kitchen are entering an item they have stitched up in the Archuleta County Fair. Get out to the fair and see what they’ve been up to.

Join in the fun of Stitchin’ in the Kitchen on Fridays at 10 a.m. for an hour of creativity, recreational lies, coffee sipping and a treat-eating good time.

I swear I’ll get that crocheted football hat done for my grandson’s first birthday and in time for kickoff.

Great deal

Did you know there’s a sweet deal at Cafe Fox?

Every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday you can partake in a fabulous lunch; the salad bar opens at 11:30 a.m., followed by the main meal at noon.

Join a friend, bring a friend, or make a new one and have a great time while enjoying the gorgeous view of the San Juan Mountains and the old-time decorations of yesteryear. Just make your reservation by 9 a.m. and come in. Great food and company, all for a suggested donation of $4. We look forward to you joining us soon.

Beep, beep

Your ride awaits you.

Catch our door-to-door bus and get out in the community while we do the driving. Get to where you need to go: grocery store, doctor’s office, pharmacy, hardware store, visit a friend, lunch at Cafe Fox or …?

The service is available Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday for seniors age 60-plus. Suggested donation is $2 per day.

What are you waiting for? Call for details, 264-2167.

Delivered meals

Are you struggling to get meals prepared because you are homebound, recovering from surgery or an illness?

If so, Let us do the cooking. Enjoy Cafe Fox meals delivered to your door.

Our hot meal, home delivery program is available four days per week to those living closer to town, with frozen meals for Thursdays and weekends. Those living farther out of town may be eligible for the frozen meal program. Meals are available to people age 60-plusfor 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, Aug. 2 — 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 10:30 a.m. Brain Injury Support Group; 12:30 p.m. gym walk during open gym.

Monday, Aug. 5 — 12:30 Gym Walk during open gym.

Tuesday, Aug. 6 —12:30 p.m. gym walk during open gym; 1 p.m. Meditation for Healing.

Wednesday, Aug. 7 — Medicare 101, registration required.

Thursday, Aug. 8 — Medicare counseling, by appointment.

Friday, Aug. 9 — 10 a.m. Stitchin’ in the Kitchen; 12:30 p.m. gym walk during open gym.

Cafe Fox menu

All meals include our great salad bar.

Friday, Aug. 2 — Swedish meatballs, egg noodles, green beans with red pepper, parslied carrots, whole wheat roll, tropical fruit salad.

Monday, Aug. 5 — Honey BBQ chicken, oven browned potatoes, spinach, fresh apple, bran muffin.

Tuesday, Aug. 6 — Lasagna, tossed salad, green beans, apricots, whole wheat roll.

Wednesday, Aug. 7 — Crunchy baked fish, tartar sauce, mixed veggies, creamy coleslaw, banana, mashed sweet potatoes.

Thursday, Aug. 8 — Closed.

Friday, Aug. 9— Meatloaf with gravy, mashed potatoes, peas, whole roll, pineapple bits.

Reservations are required by 9 a.m. the morning of the day you would like to dine at Cafe Fox. You can make your reservation up to one week in advance by calling 264-2167, through our website at www.archuletacounty.org, at select departments and at the Senior Center.

Suggested donation for older adults age 60-plus is $4, 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 individual donations and grants. These funds help support the cost of the meal which is approximately $12.85. 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.

This story was posted on August 1, 2013.