10/24/17

Mimi considers Medicare plan out of sight, out of mind

Courtney Mann of The Windsor of Savoy with resident and Health Alliance Medicare member Mimi BerglandMimi Bergland’s happiest moments happened at the family cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan. She spent time there this summer with her niece, Marcia, who’s like a daughter to her.

“I didn’t have children. I always say my brother had them for me,” Bergland said at The Windsor of Savoy, which provides both independent and assisted living for seniors.

Bergland has lived at The Windsor of Savoy for 25 years. It’s home, but it’s not the cottage.

“I missed going to the cottage last year for the first time since 1942. My old friends are there. When we visited, they wined and dined us. It was a delight to be there,” Bergland said through happy tears.

Also a Health Alliance Medicare member for 25 years, Bergland and most people 65 and older are encouraged to take a close look at their Medicare coverage this time of year to be sure they’re set for 2018. The Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period (AEP) ends December 7. Many people choose Medicare Advantage plans over Medicare Supplement plans because they combine coverage for prescriptions, doctor’s office visits and hospital stays into one affordable package.

Bergland doesn’t think much about her health insurance, but she was glad she had it not long ago when an ambulance transported her to Carle Foundation Hospital.

“I had been dragging around. It was such an effort just to walk. They did every test in the book, and found I was bleeding internally,” Bergland said, brushing off how serious that could have been.

She credits her good health to active living.

“We always went swimming, and it was cold, but you felt so good afterwards,” she said of those beloved days at the lake.

Memories like that remain crisp and clear for Bergland, who has a good sense of humor about forgetting things.

“I can remember exactly something that happened 15 years ago, but I don’t always remember what I had for breakfast,” she said with a grin.

Other memories flood in freely. How she worked at a hotel and restaurant for $5 per week to help support the family after her father died. How she can still see the navy blue lace dress she bought for her mother with her earnings.

How she cherished her husband.

“He was handsome,” she said of the polished farm manager. “He and his family embraced me. They always made me feel completely welcome.”

Louis died shortly after the couple moved to The Windsor of Savoy. An aneurysm claimed the life of the man who had rarely been sick.

Bergland, a longtime Carle Auxiliary member, mourned at the cottage before she returned to her Savoy home.

This summer, Health Alliance Medicare visited The Windsor of Savoy to talk about something you might not expect a health plan to address—downsizing and decluttering. Practical and compassionate, the sessions at social service and other agencies focus on a reasonable approach to keeping what’s truly special and letting go of what’s no longer needed.

“We see over and over again how much seniors benefit from Health Alliance Medicare’s innovative approach to meeting our members where they are and supporting their needs,” Community Outreach Manager Terra Mullins said.

“Topics like this are a part of Health Alliance’s commitment to community education. Our hope is we are helping people gain a better understanding of a variety of topics related to overall health and wellness.” 

Seniors, some people with disabilities and those who love and care from them can learn more about Health Alliance Medicare plans during the AEP, which ends December 7.

  • Call 1-888-382-9771 
  • Visit HealthAllianceMedicare.org
  • Or contact a local agent

Those in the Champaign-Urbana area are welcome to stop by from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekday at 206 W. Anthony Drive, just off Interstate 74.