DEAR SUN SPOTS: Since I know many seniors are quick to read your column, I was wondering if you could share the following:
On Jan. 25, some 4,000-plus termination letters were sent out to Medicare Saving Program and Drugs for the Elderly recipients informing them that due to a recent state change in eligibility which reduced the income level guidelines, they would lose their benefits effective March 1.
These programs include QMB/SLMB/Q-I, DEL and LIS. These are state and federal programs that help consumers with the cost of Medicare (hospitals and doctors) and prescriptions.
Unfortunately, the determinations were based on the 2012 Federal Poverty Levels (2013 guidelines were not available at the time) and were not 100 percent correct. The state is updating their files with the new 2013 guidelines and if consumers were sent wrong determinations, new letters will be sent by Feb. 15.
I have been hearing that some consumers who received these letters are taking drastic steps to minimize the impact including discontinuing their medications and even dropping off their pets at the local shelters.
It is crucial that consumers who received these letters get the correct advice on the actual impact and options available. In all cases, although the state will not pay their Medicare premiums, co-pays or deductibles as of March 1, Social Security’s Low-Income Subsidy will continue to help with their prescription drug plan until Dec. 31.
Consumers who have received these letters and have concerns should not hesitate to call their local Area Agency on Aging at 1-877-353-3771. Thank you. — Roland Bussiere, Medicare specialist, SeniorsPlus
ANSWER: Sun Spots hopes Roland's letter will help calm fears. It is always scary to get a letter telling you your benefits will be cut, but take a deep breath and call before you stopping your prescriptions or taking other precipitate action.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am a volunteer for the Turner Museum and Historical Association and have a project to investigate the history of the Priscilla Turner Rug Guild to procure a booklet for publication and sale to benefit the association.
Does the newspaper have any articles of interest in this subject regarding the work, products, advertising or sale items and or other stories? The company moved from Turner to Lewiston 1986? and closed in 1994 also one of the last orders of production was from the Clinton White House furnishings. Thank you. — Eva Leavitt, firstname.lastname@example.org, 224-7139
ANSWER: On Oct. 1 Sun Spots published a letter from Judy Taylor, who is writing a book about the guild. Her email is email@example.com
The only response to her query in the column was from a woman who has one of the rugs. But you might want to contact Judy. Readers may have shared some information with her directly.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: This is for the lady who had damaged nerves in her feet that keep her awake at night.
I have this, and my feet burn at night. I use aloe vera gel with lidocaine. It really helps. — Maxine, North Monmouth
ANSWER: Sun Spots has not printed any letter from a lady with problem feet. Perhaps the letter appeared in the Dr. Donohue/Roach column? If so, she is unlikely to read your suggestion in Sun Spots, as those letters come from all over the country, not just L-A.
Still, perhaps a local reader has a the same foot problem and will appreciate the tip.
DEAR SUN SPOTS: I just want to let you know that I am a Scentsy consultant. I read in your Jan. 30 column that someone may be looking for a consultant. They can contact me either through my email or by calling me. Thank you so much. Love your column it is the first thing that I read in the morning. — Venise Monto, firstname.lastname@example.org
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to email@example.com.