The Ridgefield Development Commission produced our new benefit book which needed to be updated since our last one was published in 2013. A lot of retailers had moved out of town, and new retailers have opened. The commission did a very nice job. The Gold Card, only for Ridgefield residents over 65 (which is when you get your Medicare card), is available at town hall. To get your Gold Card you have to have a valid driver’s license or some kind of official identification. If you no longer drive or do not have a driver’s license, the Department of Motor Vehicles will give you an ID card.

We will be getting new Medicare and Medicaid cards in March 2018. The centers for Medicare and Medicaid cards will issue new cards to 57 million seniors. The new cards will no longer have Social Security numbers to help prevent identity theft. The removal of the SSN is a helpful step in preventing the exposure of that important number. Upon receiving the new cards, beneficiaries are instructed to destroy their old ones.

The Better Business Bureau warns that scammers still may try to take advantage of the imminent changeover by posing as Medicare representatives. To avoid these scams, the Federal Trade Commission says if someone calls claiming to be from Medicare, hang up. Medicare will not call you. If someone wants to charge you, remember, the Medicare card is free. If someone is threatening to cancel your benefits if you don’t give up information or money, this is also a scam. Be alert, Medicare and Medicaid cards will be mailed out to you automatically. There won’t be any changes to your benefits.

See you in two weeks, Chris