DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the question about insurance to supplement Medicare (Dec. 31), some Advantage plans offer plans with no premiums even for Part D and reasonable copays. 

There are also companies that offer supplemental plans and you cannot be denied, even with pre-existing conditions. 

My Advantage plan even has some dental and eye coverage. I’m sure SeniorsPlus or the local Area Agency on Aging could help her out. — No Name, Livermore

ANSWER: Sun Spots should have thought to mention Medicare Advantage (known as Part C) in her response, but she’s never heard of a plan with no premiums.

As for SeniorsPlus, they are an excellent resource. Sun Spots always runs her questions about Medicare by Roland Bussiere, a specialist on the topic at SeniorsPlus, but it was over the holidays and he was away.

Fortunately, he has returned. He saw the column in question and noted the lack of mention of Part C as well. He also noted that it’s a difficult subject, with many options depending on the individual’s health and financial situation.

He recommends that “consumers visit their local Area Agency on Aging, requesting an appointment with a SHIP counselor (Maine State Health Insurance Assistance Program) to get general information on all Medicare products (i.e., Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D) and how various supplement insurances can help cover the GAP.

“They can reach the SHIP’s by calling 1-877-353-3771. This will connect them to their local AAA office. We have five Area Agencies in Maine, located in Presque Isle, Bangor, Augusta, Scarborough and, of course, my office in Lewiston.”

For those with online access, Roland also sent Sun Spots the link to a very helpful website for premium comparison: maine.gov/pfr/insurance/consumer/medicare_2013.htm. It will undoubtedly be updated for 2014. Maine state government does a great job with online resources.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’ve been singing with a professional, roots-based gospel choir and band for many years. We do about a half-dozen big fundraising concerts each year as well as many outreach concerts to communities who are not able to get out to go to concerts.

We rehearse every Tuesday evening in southern Maine, and we perform all over New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts. Since I moved to the South Paris-Rumford area, commuting has been difficult.

Several of us carpool from Portland (where I used to live), but I need a carpool from the central Maine area to Portland, and am looking for a singer or singers who would like to join me.

To find out more about Rock My Soul, please visit our website, www.projectmusicworks.org.

If you are interested in trying it out and carpooling with me to Portland, please call 207-418-1573. — Alice, [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for regular size Altoids tins. Please use email. Thanks. — Deb B., [email protected]

ANSWER: Sun Spots always recommends providing a phone number when looking for something. Many of her readers do not use computers.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: In reply to the gentleman asking about full-grown Venus flytraps, I just saw them recently being sold at Shaw’s in Lewiston. — [email protected]

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 protected]


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