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Health & Wellness

INSURANCE: Options Continued from Page 8

delay the date seniors get coverage. “These decisions are going to affect your health insurance for the rest of your life,” he said, “and if you miss a deadline, it could be very costly. And worse yet, you could not have any benefits at all depending on the choices you make.” Medicare coverage breaks down into three parts, Part A covers hospital visits, Part B is for medical insurance and Part D covers medications. Most people, Delaune said, will qualify for Medicare Part A because of prior employment. But Part B, which covers doctors’ services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services and other medical services, requires seniors to pay a premium each month. Part D is provided by private insurance companies. Costs can vary depending on

coverage. And if that’s not complicated enough, many people recommend purchasing supplemental insurance — often called Medigap — that covers costs and procedures not covered by Medicare Part A or Part B. Delaune stressed that it’s important for seniors to look into Medigap insurance because there’s a six-month time period after a senior turns 65 where insurance companies can’t charge them extra or deny coverage for existing conditions. All the services, options and deadlines can be daunting, but Delaune said that’s exactly why people should contact offices such as Access Alaska or the state Medicare Information Office. “Doing a little investigation now and finding out what’s best for you can avoid a lot of consequences,” he said. Contact staff writer Matt Buxton at 459-7544.

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

Borough programs keep local seniors on the move By TIM MOWRY The Fairbanks North Star Borough has several recreational programs aimed at keeping seniors fit. “We have programs five days a week,” said the borough’s senior activities coordinator, Georgia Reynolds. “It’s all focused on providing group activities for seniors.” The borough offers aqua fitness at the Mary Siah Recreation Center three days a week and exercise classes at senior centers and homes in Fairbanks and North Pole two days each week. The borough also has a seniors walking club that meets at the Big Dipper Ice Arena twice a week, as well as weekly bowling outings. “We don’t do anything intensive,” she said. “People don’t have to be intimidated. We’re just trying to maintain daily routines so people can get up around the house and go to the store. We trying to keep them from getting isolated in their homes.” The borough’s senior activity program is for people age 60 and older. The oldest participant, Mary Meiners, just turned 100,

SCHEDULE AQUA FITNESS — 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, Mary Siah Recreation Area. EXERCISE CLASSES — 11-11:30 a.m. Monday and Friday at Santa’s Senior Center in North Pole; 11:15-11:45 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday at Fairbanks Senior Center; 8:30-9:15 a.m. Monday and Friday, MLH Manor. BOWLING — 1:30 p.m. Monday, Arctic Bowl. WALKING CLUB — 9:15-10:15 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, Big Dipper Ice Arena.

Reynolds said. “We’ve got quite a few in there 80s, as well,” she said. The walking and exercise classes, which are held at the Fairbanks Senior Center, Santa’s Senior Center in North Pole and MLH Manor in Fairbanks, are free. The borough offers limited transportation to the Big Dipper for the walking program, Reynolds said. Anyone interested in finding out more about the borough’s senior activities program can call Reynolds at 459-1136 or the parks and recreation department at 459-1070.

Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  
Health and Wellness - Spring 2012  

A guide to staying healthy in Interior Alaska, geared toward Alaska's growing elderly population.