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LETTERS for the October 24 issue

By Staff | Oct 24, 2019

Silent auction to help support Jesse Larson

Down The Hatch is reaching out to the community to support a member of our ‘ohana. DTH employee Jesse Larson was involved in a hit and run in Lahaina on Saturday, Oct. 12. He was flown to Oahu, has undergone extensive surgery on his hips and is now in a stable condition. Through all of this, his spirits are high and he is keeping a positive attitude.

Knowing that the recovery is going to take some time, DTH is going to be holding a fundraiser to help cover some of his expenses during his recovery. We are asking for donations from businesses for a silent auction, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26.

If you would like to donate, please contact Javier Barberi at (404) 374-6149 or “mailto:info@dthmaui.com”>info@dthmaui.com.

Please keep Jesse in your prayers. The road to recovery is a long one, but with the help of the community, we hope to assist with any forthcoming expenses.

We appreciate any support that you can provide in the form of a donation for our raffle and/or our silent auction – gift certificates, gift cards, gift baskets, excursions, artwork, hats, T-shirts, etc

JAVIER BARBERI, Owner, Down The Hatch


School appreciates Citizen Church volunteers

King Kamehameha III Elementary School had volunteers from Citizen Church, New Mexico and the Maui branch on campus to do community service recently.

We want to extend a huge mahalo to Sarah and Craig Beckman from Citizen Church, New Mexico, who organized and donated paint and supplies for this project.

To all the wonderful volunteers who braved the heat to paint our wooden fence and some decks, thank you!



Improved online tool helps you choose Medicare plans

Just a reminder that Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period started Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7, 2019.

This is the time of year when you can change how you get your Medicare coverage, switch health and drug plans, and add or drop Medicare prescription drug coverage. So it’s important that you review your current coverage. Check your current enrollment at Medicare.gov/find-a-plan/enrollment/check-enrollment.aspx.

If you’re happy with your current Medicare coverage, you don’t need to do a thing during Open Enrollment. But people often find they can save money or find a plan that better meets their health needs by shopping around.

To help you shop for 2020 Medicare health and drug plans, we’ve just introduced an improved version of our popular Medicare Plan Finder, at Medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?year=2020.

The redesigned Medicare Plan Finder makes it easier than ever to compare coverage options, shop for plans and feel confident in your choice. This tool now works on your smart phone, tablet and desktop computer.

With Medicare Plan Finder, you can compare up to three health or drug plans side-by-side; get plan costs and benefits, including which Medicare Advantage plans offer extra benefits; and build a personal drug list and find a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) that best meets your needs. We’ll start by suggesting prescriptions that you filled within the last 12 months. And when you search for a brand name drug, we’ll show it along with any lower-cost generic alternatives.

If you’re new to Medicare, you’ll need to decide up front how you get your Medicare coverage. Medicare Plan Finder can help with this, too. By selecting “Learn more about Medicare options before I see plans,” you can compare the different ways you can Medicare coverage – through Original Medicare (with or without extra coverage) or a Medicare Advantage plan.

For a more personalized experience, you can also create your own Medicare account at MyMedicare.gov. Among other things, this account allows you to print a new Medicare card if you lose yours.

About 10,000 people enroll in Medicare each day, and we’re improving our online tools to meet the needs of a growing number of tech-savvy beneficiaries. But you don’t need a computer to get information on your Medicare benefits.

If you have any questions, you can always call Medicare’s toll-free number, 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Customer service representatives are available 24/7.

There’s also the “Medicare & You” handbook, mailed to every Medicare household in the country each fall. The handbook is available online at www.medicare.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/10050-medicare-and-you.pdf.

And let me also recommend the excellent, free counseling you can get from your State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP.

SHIP is an independent, nonprofit organization that provides personalized counseling to people with Medicare. You can make an appointment to speak with a SHIP counselor in-person or over the phone.

SHIP counselors are well-trained volunteers who often are enrolled in Medicare themselves, so they know the ropes. They can help you sort through different health and drug plans and help find one that’s right for you. They’re not trying to sell you any particular product.

To contact your local SHIP office, go to Shiptacenter.org.

If you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan this fall, but you’re not satisfied with it, you can switch plans or return to Original Medicare between Jan.1 and March 31, 2020. If you return to Original Medicare, you can also buy a Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) during this period.

For more information, go to SSA.gov/prescriptionhelp.

GREG DILL, Medicare’s Regional Administrator for Hawaii