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What you don’t know can hurt you

Sue Daugherty • Oct 15, 2013 at 9:02 AM

At the root of all vulnerability is lack of money.


For older adults ages 60-64 failing to understand the Affordable Insurance Exchange (aka Affordable Insurance Marketplace) will keep you from making an informed decision to serve your best interests.


For adults age 65 and older, failing to understand your options when purchasing a Medicare insurance plan/policy can cause you to spend money that might not give you the coverage you thought you had. For seniors of any age, failing to understand how to interpret your electric bill, can cause you to join an aggregation or buy from a supplier that costs you more money for electricity than you would otherwise have to pay. Last but not least, failing to understand the tactics used to dupe older people out of their money can cause you to be a perfect target for a scam artist.

In each case, your lack of knowledge can do you more harm, than good. To help you make your money work better for you, there are several free forums on these issues to help you become better informed.

• Oct. 14: The North Coast Senior Expo at the Kalahari Convention Center. Serving Our Seniors will host a presentation titled “Last Will and Embezzlement”. It’s a 20-minute documentary that shows the different tactics used by family or trusted professionals to exploit senior citizens out of their money. The documentary is followed by a 20-minute questionand-answer session led by Anthony Pool, Senior Advocate at Serving Our Seniors. Afterward, audience members may stick around and talk with Anthony Pool one-on-one, as time permits. The presentations are scheduled for every hour, on the half hour starting at 10:30 am.

• Oct. 15-Dec. 7: Medicare Counseling is available, by appointment, to Erie County Senior Citizens at Serving Our Seniors office 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. Call 419-624-1856 to meet with a trained and certified Volunteer Medicare Counselor.

• Also by appointment: Monday-Thursday, Serving Our Seniors’ Advocates can help Erie County senior citizens review which Medicare prescription drug plan (aka Medicare Part D) will cover specific medications best in 2014.

• Oct. 17: 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. the Sandusky Library will present “Understanding Medicare A, B,C and D” at the library. To ensure the information is presented in a manner that is easy to understand, Volunteer Medicare Counselors will serve as a side panel to interject, clarifying comments for the benefit of the audience. No RSVP is needed.

• Oct. 17: 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Erie County Services Center, 2900 Columbus Ave., Perkins Twp., Serving Our Seniors will host Jim Williams with the Ohio Consumers Counsel to teach you how to interpret your Ohio Edison bill. By attending this forum you will leave understanding if you are in the county electric aggregation, the city of Sandusky aggregation or if you are buying from an independent electric supplier. You will also learn if you are getting the best deal available for buying electricity. An audience of 25 or more is required to justify the travel of our speaker from Columbus. To reserve your seat, call Serving Our Seniors by Oct. 15, at 419-624-1856 and ask for Sarah’s voicemail. Leave your name, phone number and date and name of the event you’re registering to attend. You will be called if the forum is canceled.

• Oct 25: 4–5:30 p.m. and again 6-7:30 p.m., Serving Our Seniors will host a public forum to benefit those ages 60-64, titled “Understanding the Health Care Exchanges” at Firelands Regional Medical Center, 1111 Hayes Ave. in the Mylander Conference Center, Sandusky. An audience of 150 is required to justify the time and travel of: Staff members from the offices of U.S. Senators Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur; Emily Brickner and Jennifer Lenard, trained application assister from Fremont Community Health Services; and Josh Messenburg, insurance agent with United Insurance Services. As of today, we have fewer than 20 people who have registered to attend. RSVPs are due no later than Oct. 23. Call 419-624-1856 and ask for Sarah’s voicemail. Leave your name, phone number and the name, date and time you are reserving to attend. You will be called if the forum is canceled.

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