Readers’ Views

We all need a friend

To the Editor:

Everyone needs a friend although some need one more than others. Through good and bad times, it’s hard to make it through life alone, believe me I know this from experience.

The next few lines are meant to help some through life, and help them know when they have a real friend:

A friend is someone who shares their time, someone who’s always near.

A friend is someone who keeps it close, when they have nothing to fear.

A friend is someone who spreads a smile, someone who plays their part.

A friend is someone who hears it all, and has a tender heart.

John R. Fransen Jr.


Replacing ‘cost’ plan

To the Editor:

I am one of thousands of people who are losing their Medicare “cost” plans as of Jan. 1.

The premium for my “cost” plan is $145 per month in addition to what I pay for Medicare insurance. This plan has no deductibles for hospital and doctor bills. I have a separate drug plan not associated with the “cost” plan.

When I first read about this change, I went to to see what plans were available in 2019 and was pleasantly surprised that there were “advantage” plans with lower premiums than I was presently paying. Wow, how could this be?

I was looking at preferred provider organization or PPO plans where you can choose your doctor, clinic, hospital if they accept Medicare. The premiums varied from $0 to $130 per month with varying copays and deductibles. I put the various plans in a spreadsheet program to determine which would be the best in regard to days in the hospital, doctor visits, etc.

I had decided which plan I was going to take until a neighbor said, “Do you know what happens when you leave the area of your PPO?” It turns out if I left the southern Minnesota area, I would have to pay the out-of-network prices and, of course, these are much higher than in-network.

Then another thing she said was that if I ever wanted to change to a medi-gap or supplement type policy sometime later, I would have to take a physical to see if I was qualified. I double-checked on this with two different agents and, indeed, this was the case.

So it turns out that people with “cost” plans that are going away Jan. 1 have this one-time opportunity to change to a medi-gap or supplement policy without taking a physical. Needless to say, I chose to enroll in a supplement plan that covers me anywhere at any facility or doctor that takes Medicare and has no co-pays or deductibles.

The premium for my supplement plan is about $220 per month, which is an increase of $75 per month. Be careful when you replace your Medicare “cost” plan. Just be thankful you have Medicare and don’t have to buy insurance provided by the Affordable Care Act.

Michael Lundgreen


Join us for reading

To the Editor:

In order to raise funds for Heaven’s Table Food in a fun yet different way, a group of Fairmont citizens is preparing a reading of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol.” Please join us for an evening of music, a reading and refreshments at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, at Red Rock Center for the Arts in Fairmont.

Carole Rudig