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OFA offers AARP older driver safety course

The Dutchess County Office for the Aging is hosting an in-person AARP Smart Driver Course on Friday, June 23, 9 a.m to 4 p.m. at the OFA Poughkeepsie Friendship Center, 114 Delafield St. in Poughkeepsie. It’s open to all licensed drivers from Dutchess County over age 60. Lunch from OFA can be provided, or you can bring your own.

The AARP Smart Driver course is the nation’s first refresher course specifically designed for older drivers. In many states, including New York, drivers may benefit from a discount on their auto insurance premium upon completing the course. And you will learn something new along the way.

One evaluation of the course found that 97% of participants changed at least one driving habit because of what they learned.

Advance registration for this class is required and can be made by calling OFA during business hours at 845-486-2555. Class capacity is limited by space.

There’s a $30 fee for the course, payable on the day of the course by check, money order or cash. The fee for AARP members is $25.

The Smart Driver course can help you:

• Receive a multi-year discount on your auto insurance. Consult your insurance agent for details;

• Refresh your driving skills and your knowledge of the rules — and hazards — of the road; and

• Reduce your chances of receiving a traffic violation or getting into an accident.


New Medicaid
renewal scam

A new phone scam is targeting New Yorkers who are enrolled in publicly funded health care programs, including Medicaid. Confusing matters is that New York state this spring has been mailing legitimate Medicaid renewal notices to subscribers of Medicaid, the Essential Plan, and Child Health Plus.

Scammers thrive by causing confusion and, while it’s important to avoid scams, it’s just as important not to mistake legitimate communications for a scam. We expect that scammers will attempt phone, mail, and electronic methods.

Legitimate renewal notices will include the deadline to take action to renew your publicly funded insurance or risk having a gap in coverage. Deadlines will be based on your enrollment end dates and will range from June 30, 2023, through May 31, 2024.

Important: No one can ever charge you a fee to renew your health insurance in Medicaid, Child Health Plus, or the Essential Plan.

Older Dutchess County residents on publicly funded insurance plans can contact OFA for renewal help and any other follow-up questions at 845-486-2555 or ofa@dutchessny.gov.

You can report suspected fraud. Call the New York State of Health’s Customer Service Center at 1-855-355-5777. TTY users should call 1-800-662-1220. Contact the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) health care helpline at 1-800-428-9071 or the New York State Department of Financial Services’ consumer hotline at 1-800-342-3736.


Note: the Office for the Aging and all OFA Friendship Centers will be closed on Monday, May 29, in observance of Memorial Day.


Golden Living is prepared by the Dutchess County Office for the Aging, Todd N. Tancredi, director. Email him at ofa@dutchessny.gov.

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