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Baltimore County Now - News You Can Use

Baltimore County Now

Stay informed of what's happening in Baltimore County.
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Jordan Fish, Baltimore County Tourism and Promotion

With cooling temperatures and dramatic color-changing foliage, fall is a beautiful time to be in Baltimore County. Whether you're in search of the perfect pumpkin, freshly pressed apple cider, corn mazes, or spooky haunted attractions, there is something for everyone this season. Autumn in Baltimore County is also home to many great local events, with everything from concerts to wine tastings available right in your backyard.


photo of senior getting help with Medicare D enrollmentSherry Kolbe, Manager
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Baltimore County Department of Aging

Is your Medicare Part D plan the best fit for you in 2015? Each year, Part D plans are permitted to change. These changes may involve the drug formularies, tier structures, premiums and/or contracts with pharmacies.

Granted, the plans sent Notification of Change letters at the end of September for 2015, but how many of us actually read them? Even if you read them, you are not able to compare your plan with others unless you go onto the Medicare Plan Finder on www.Medicare.gov.

Too overwhelming? Help is here in Baltimore County

If all of these steps seem a bit overwhelming for you or a loved one, there is help for you through Baltimore County’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program’s (SHIP) team of volunteers.  Dates have been set for the SHIP team to go to twelve of the twenty senior centers. Just call SHIP, 410-887-2059, to schedule an appointment to have a one-on-one conversation with a volunteer counselor. Once a member of the team enters your drugs into the Medicare Plan Finder, you will be able to review your options to either enroll in a new plan or stay in your current plan. You will be able to leave this meeting with a sense of satisfaction knowing you are in the best plan for your current drug list for 2015.

Do you qualify for financial assistance?

Counselors will also assess if you eligible for financial assistance to help pay for your Part D premium and or drug co-pays. Too many Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for assistance and may never have heard of the programs or think they are over-scale. Let the SHIP team share with you the details of programs that may help to save you money


photo of a woman receiving a flu shotDella J. Leister, R.N.
Deputy Health Officer, Baltimore County Department of Health

When you think about fall, what comes to mind - colorful leaves, cooler temperatures, getting a flu shot?  For those of us at the Baltimore County Department of Health, fall is the time when we promote the importance of getting vaccinated to prevent the spread of flu.

The best way to prevent the flu is by knowing the flu FACTS.

Frequently wash your hands.

Washing hands with soap and water at for 20-30 seconds is the best form of protection to reduce the spread of germs.  If soap and water is not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Always get an annual flu shot.

Flu viruses are always changing, last season’s flu vaccine may not protect against newer viruses, and an annual vaccination is the only way to maintain protection each season.

Cover your cough and sneezes.       

Use a tissue to cover your coughs and sneezes; then throw it away.  If you do not have a tissue, cough and sneeze into the crease of your arm (elbow area) to prevent your droplets from spreading. Never cough or sneeze into your hands. 

Take time off from school, work, and social activities if you have symptoms.

People who have the flu often have these symptoms:

·         Fever or feeling feverish/chills

·         Cough

·         Sore throat

·         Runny or stuffy nose

·         Muscle or body aches

·         Headaches

·         Fatigue (tiredness)

Seek medical care if your symptoms get worse.

If your condition does not improve after taking over-the-counter medication to alleviate symptoms, and then call you doctor.

If you are looking to “stay in the game,” then plan to get flu shot. The Baltimore County Department will offer free flu shots on Saturday, October 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at seven locations across the county. For more information, go to http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/health/resources/flu.html or call 410-887-BCHD (2243).


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