Letters to the Editor - The Millerton News - 3-10-22

Library can help you with your smartphone

Like many seniors, we recently were informed that our old cell phones would soon be totally obsolete and not supported by the necessary systems to keep them running.

My cell phone was so old that TracFone actually gave me a smartphone. However, our fears were confirmed when we found that the new cell phones were taking us to places we did not want to go.

Access to basic needs was confusing. The phones made noises for no apparent reason and did not make the noises we needed.

We were aware that the Pine Plains Free Library had a Help Person available, Annie, but assumed she would not have time for our issues.

Annie was sympathetic to our problems with this new (to us) technology.

She fixed some things so that we would never have to touch them again, and has been teaching us how to use the controls we need.

We strongly urge anyone having trouble adapting to the learning curve on their new smartphone to take advantage of this fantastic help.

Bill and Betty Abrams

Pine Plains

Editor’s note: The Pine Plains Free Library is located at 7775 South Main St. (Route 82). For more information, call 518-398-1927, go to www.pineplainslibrary.org or email info@pineplainslibrary.org.


Seniors, beware of Medicare Advantage

I, like everyone else, am being  bombarded with Medicare Advantage advertisements online and on streaming.

The enrollment period for Medicare Advantage ends on March 31; an enrollment period that is not offered to regular Medicare enrollment (restricted to Oct. 15 to Dec. 7).

This is because Medicare Advantage is actually a private part of Medicare offered by outside for-profit contractors who make money off of your benefits!

Medicare pays a certain amount for everything it covers and those private insurance companies take the public money and give their enrollees only about 47% of what they get from Medicare.

The rest is profit.

So, while they advertise all kinds of perks and reductions to the consumer, they actually offer LESS by cutting down on your use of services.

If you are healthy and have cash on hand, Medicare Advantage is probably a good bet.

But if you don’t like co-pays for your doctor, copays for the referral, copays for the tests your doctor offers or live where there are small doctor/hospital networks, you will face pre-permission requirements, much higher hospital costs or some costs just not covered.

These are pay-as-you go plans and often require particular kinds of referrals that regular Medicare does not require.

Medicare pays in advance a set rate for everything. Medicare Advantage games the system to make a profit. That is why they have old and friendly, well-known actors working so hard repeatedly to get you to enroll. Un-enrolling is very hard.

It’s true that Medicare only pays 80% of health care costs, but it’s probably better to have an additional supplemental plan and pay for that. You will get better service, accountability and more choices for doctors, services and hospitals. And, importantly, no surprise costs.

So be careful. Your public entitlement to Medicare can be squandered for you and for us all if our government continues to let for-profit insurance game the system.

Check it out: In Google, search: “The Disadvantages of Medicare Advantage - PNHP https://pnhp.org › News”

Nancy McKenzie



Disagree with paper’s readers on Biden and Molinaro’s job rating

In response to The Millerton News letter to the editor submissions of Dr. Cavin Leeman and Amy Rothstein in the March 3 edition, I would like to note that while your opinions are duly noted, the American voting public will ultimately decide the competence or incompetence of President Biden and his administration’s handling of domestic and foreign policy at the polling places this coming November.

I respectfully side with our Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, a stand-up guy who has achieved a great deal of good for the constituents of the county he represents.

His, your and my opinions are just talking points now. Reality will set in this coming November.

Larry Conklin


Editor’s note: Larry Conklin writes the monthly column, Veteran’s Corner, for The Millerton News’ Opinion Page.

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