2. October 15 was the first day of open enrollment for people looking to sign up for Medicare Part D supplemental insurance plans. It can be a complicated process, which is why Waterford's Senior Center staff are available to help guide people through it.
To add to the confusion this year, many people are wondering what impact the Affordable Care Act may have on their existing Medicare benefits. The short answer is existing government health care benefits such as Medicare are not affected at all. The longer answer is that the debate over "Obamacare" has created a stalemate in Congress that has brought government to a halt, which is directly impacting anyone trying to enroll for Medicare Part D.
If people thought dealing with government red tape was complicated, trying to cut through that red tape when the government is in shutdown mode is even more difficult.
Waterford Senior Center staff rely on the government website www.medicare.gov to help explain the options available and to determine an individual's eligibility for benefits based on social security benefits. And when they go to the website now, they're seeing the following message:
"Due to the government shutdown, information on this website may not be up to date. For information about available government services, visit USA.gov."
Hardly helpful. People have until December 7 to sign up for Medicare Part D. Let's hope our elected officials can get their act together before then.
3. That's not the only way the government shut down is being felt locally. Yesterday, The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut announced it had to postpone the military appreciation breakfast it had scheduled for October 18 because of the affect government furloughs are having on the military.
4. One thing that isn't being affected, however, is military appreciation week in New London. Through October 20, New London businesses will be offering discounts and giving special recognition to active duty military and veterans.
5. In case you're feeling civic minded, here's a list of municipal meetings in Waterford this evening:
- Waterford Youth Service Board meets at 5 p.m. at the Youth Service Meeting Room.
- Economic Development Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Louise T. Appleby Meeting Room in Waterford Town Hall.
- The Ethics Commission meets at 7:30 p.m. in the Police Department Meeting Room.