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Davidow, Davidow, Siegel & Stern, LLP
Long Island's Elder Law, Special Needs & Estate Planning Firm

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period Ends March 31, 2007

The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) during which Medicare beneficiaries can make one election to change in certain kinds of plans, ends on March 31, 2007. The Open Enrollment Period applies to individuals who are changing Medicare Advantage (MA) plans or enrolling in or disenrolling from MA plans.

During the OEP, beneficiaries may switch from:
-a medicare Advantage prescription drug plan (MA-PD) to another MA-PD or original Medicare with a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP);
-one MA-only plan (no prescription drug coverage) to another MA only plan or original Medicare with no drug coverage;
-original Medicare with a PDP to a MA-PD; or
-original Medicare with no drug coverage to a MA-only plan.

A beneficiary may make only one of these changes during an OEP. For a visual representation of the options, see the Health Assistance Partnership’s chart at www.hapnetwork.org/assets/pdfs/2007-MA-OEP-chart.pdf.

An OEP cannot be used to enroll in prescription drug coverage for the first time or to drop prescription drug coverage entirely; it also cannot be used to switch from one (non-Medicare Advantage) prescription drug plan to another (non-Medicare Advantage) prescription drug plan. In short, one cannot use the OEP to switch from a PDP to another PDP.

Medicaid beneficiaries have a continuous Special Enrollment Period that allows them to switch into or out of Medicare Advantage plans (including plans with Part D coverage) at anytime.

The landscape of enrollment options and limitations for Medicare beneficiaries, particularly with respect to prescription drug benefit coverage, is complex. Aggressive marketing by plans can add to the confusion and lead to mistakes and problems.

Source: Washington Weekly, volume XXXIII, Issue No. 11, March 16, 2007.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Davidow Announcements

We have planned our next two elder law and estate planning seminars! Learn how to PLAN NOW, not later, in order to protect everything you’ve worked a lifetime to acquire. Come and discover the answers to crucial and timely questions at either The Venetian Yacht Club in Babylon Village on Thursday, April 26th at 10am or Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook on Wednesday, May 2nd at 10am. The seminar is FREE, but reservations are required. Call 631-234-3030 to reserve your seat.

Last year alone, Friends of Karen, Inc. helped more than 600 sick children and an additional 800 of their brothers and sisters with the enormous strain that is put upon a family when a child is diagnosed with cancer or any life-threatening illness. This year, a team is being organized to join the RUN FOR FRIENDS OF KAREN at the Long Island Marathon, Festival of Races on Sunday, May 6th, 2007 at Eisenhower Park. Proceeds from the Run will help this important organization in their continuing efforts to provide emotional, financial and advocacy support to these very special families.

For information and an application on the RUN FOR FRIENDS OF KAREN, please call 631-473-1768. We encourage your assistance in helping this wonderful organization!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Crabby Old Man

The following story and poem made its way around our office and we felt compelled to share it in an effort to remind everyone what quite possibly is going through the minds of our elderly loved ones.

When an old man died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near Tampa, Florida, it was believed that he had nothing left of any value.

Later, when the nurses were going through his meager possessions, they found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.

One nurse took her copy to Missouri . The old man's sole bequest to posterity has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the St. Louis Association for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been made based on his simple, but eloquent, poem.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world, is now the author of this "anonymous" poem winging across the Internet.

Crabby Old Man

What do you see nurses? .......What do you see?
What are you thinking......when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, ....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit ........with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food.......and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice....."I do wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do
And forever is losing .............. a sock or shoe?

Who, resisting or not...........lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding ....... the long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse......you're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who I am ....... as I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, ...... as I eat at your will.
I'm a small child of Ten......with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .......who love one another

A young boy of Sixteen ...........with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now. ..........a lover he'll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty .........my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows........that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now .......... I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide ....... and a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty ......... my young now grown fast,
Bound to each other ........ with ties that should last.

At Forty, my young sons ........have grown and are gone,
But my woman's beside me........to see I don't mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .......... babies play 'round my knee,
Again, we know children ......... my loved one and me

Dark days are upon me .......... my wife is now dead.
I look at the future ............I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing ........young of their own.
And I think of the years...... and the love that I've known.

I'm now an old man........and nature is cruel.
Tis jest to make old age .......look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles..........grace and vigor, depart.
There is now a stone........where I once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass ...... a young guy still dwells,
And now and again ........my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys.............. I remember the pain.
And I'm loving and living.............life over again.

I think of the years ....all too few......gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact........that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people ..........open and see..
Not a crabby old man. Look closer....see........ME!!
1. Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul within.....we will all, one day, be there, too!