The challenges we faced in 2020 were unlike any other as we dealt with the impact of COVID-19 in our communities, and I hope this newsletter finds you and your families safe and healthy as we embark upon another year.
As your State Senator, my goal is to make sure you can spend these unprecedented times focusing on what matters most to you, and I’m working hard in Lansing to ensure that you get the stability and access to resources that you deserve.
Every letter, email, and call to our office has helped me to better represent you, and I hope to continue hearing from you as we begin a new year that I know will be filled with better opportunities. If you would like to share your ideas or need assistance regarding state government, you can contact my office through email or by phone. I also invite you to sign up for my e-newsletter to stay apprised of current issues in Lansing at
Working for You in Lansing,
Toll-free: (855) DIST012 or (855) 347-8012
click link to review pdf version of newsletter
I always enjoy the opportunity to hear directly from Oakland County residents like you on the issues you care about! My favorite way to do that is to host coffee hours, which I’ve been doing online to keep everyone safe. Check my website for upcoming dates and times and to sign up for my e-newsletter, or call my office to learn about a future coffee hour!
Mark Your Calendar! Upcoming Virtual Coffee Hours
Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 – 5:30 to 6:30p.m.
Friday, Feb. 12, 2021 – Noon to 1 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 – 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
SENIOR SERVICE NUMBERS
STATE SENATOR ROSEMARY BAYER
Website: SenatorBayer.com|Toll-free: (855) DIST012 or (855) 347-8012
Please make sure you are on my email list! You can subscribe online at SenatorBayer.com or send an email to my office at SenRBayer@senate.michigan.gov with “E-News Subscription Request” in the subject line.
North Oakland Health Center
1200 N. Telegraph Road, Pontiac, MI 48341
(248) 858-1280 | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re looking for information about aging well, check out the seniors’ section of the Oakland County Health Division’s website a
Many resources are available for housing, health, medical, legal issues, and local services, as well as other valuable information. Be sure to check out their Senior Resource Directory — it’s quite comprehensive and a good reference!
Staffed by Oakland County Health Division public health nurses, the Nurse on Call (NOC) telephone service offers information about communicable diseases, nutrition, and more, and can help with referrals to health-related resources in Oakland County. Nurse on Call staff can also provide you with information about COVID and the new COVID vaccine, as well as schedule an appointment for you to get a free COVID test.
Monday – Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to Noon
You can also email a nurse your question at email@example.com.
I’ll be hosting a town hall at noon on Monday, May 17, 2021 just for seniors — and you’re invited! This event will feature a panel of speakers who will address issues important to seniors — including elder abuse, services available to seniors, protecting yourself from identity theft, and how to avoid scams. Stay tuned for more information and details!
THE COST OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
For many people who need prescription drugs, the costs can be extreme, leaving patients struggling to make difficult decisions between basic life expenses based on their budget. No one should have to ration insulin or choose which refills to get when they need them. While many of the most impactful legislative changes on controlling the cost of prescription drugs must be addressed at the federal level, as a state we need to develop creative solutions. I am committed to finding ways we can address this growing issue.
Here is some information that you may find useful as you head to the pharmacy:
• Know your rights: Michigan law requires pharmacies to share drug prices with consumers.
• Compare prices: The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services maintains MichiganDrugPrices.com,
which allows you to compare and save money without ever stepping foot in a pharmacy.
• Prescription discount cards: The MiRx (My Prescription) Card is a prescription drug discount program for Michigan residents who do not have prescription drug coverage. The MiRx Card program is free; there is no cost for the card or to enroll in the program. MiRx cardholders can take their prescription and their MiRx card to their local participating pharmacy, where the pharmacist will fill the prescription and charge the MiRx discounted price. The discount covers any medicine the pharmacist stocks and that your doctor prescribes, except for over-the counter drugs. For more information, please visit MIHealth.org/MiRx.
Pharmacies often also offer free discount cards to consumers who do not have insurance or who have very high co-pays. While these discount cards can offer significant savings, it is important to be aware that companies will
sometimes use these cards as a scam to require you to pay more in the long run.
No one should have to ration insulin or choose which refills to get when they need them.-Sen. Bayer
Oakland Meals on Wheels
(248) 689-0001 | firstname.lastname@example.org
No one should go without access to healthy meals. If you, or a senior you know, are struggling to pay for food, Meals on Wheels can help. This program provides five nutritious meals per week to homebound, older adults. They also offer liquid nutrition for those who are unable to eat solid food and who have a prescription from their physician.
To qualify for Meals on Wheels, an adult must be:
• 60 years of age or older;
• Homebound (e.g. unable to leave home without assistance and unable to drive);
• Unable to cook for him/herself;
• Have no one willing or available to prepare meals on a regular basis; and,
• Able to feed him/herself.
Our health care professionals and public servants have been hard at work since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, making sure that everyone has access to important information and resources. Do your part to stay safe and stop the spread of this virus by wearing a mask when you go out, staying at least six feet apart from others, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, and washing your hands often.
Download the MI COVID Alert app
As part of the state’s continued efforts to slow the increasing spread of COVID-19, the free and voluntary MI COVID Alert app can let you know whether you’ve been recently exposed to COVID-19. The app works in conjunction with traditional contact tracing, mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing, but is not a replacement for these precautions or participation in contact tracing.
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they receive a randomly generated PIN from the local health department or State of Michigan that allows them to anonymously share their test results on the app. A notification from the app means you were possibly within six feet of the positive person for at least 15 minutes.
Every Michigander is encouraged to download MI COVID Alert, which is available in the Apple and Google app stores.
‘Be Kind to Your Mind’ and seek help
This year has been a difficult year for many Michiganders, which is why the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is encouraging people to Be Kind to Your Mind. Confidential counseling is available 24/7 by calling
888-535-6136 and pressing “8”, or residents can visit Michigan.gov/StayWell
for more information and resources.
On Dec. 11, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced a vaccine distribution plan that follows recommendations set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and established a goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders by the end of 2021. Health officials estimate that by late Spring, enough COVID-19 doses will be available for everyone who is recommended to receive it.
Distribution of the vaccine will be in a phased approach — with an emphasis on both ensuring the continued functioning of the health care system and essential services in the community, and protecting people at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness.
Michiganders should continue to wear masks, social distance from those not in their household, and wash their hands often, even after receiving the vaccine.
For more information, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDvaccine or
oakgov.com/covid/vaccine, or call 1-800-848-5533.
Oakland County Health Division
COVID-19 Help Hotline, (248) 858-1000 | oakgov.com/COVID
State of Michigan
COVID-19 Hotline, (888) 535-6136 | Michigan.gov/Coronavirus
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Latest Information
• Testing Sites Near You
In the dead of winter, heating bills can become a burden that cause many to struggle just to keep their house warm, but fortunately, The Heat and Warmth (THAW) Fund can help. THAW has multiple utility assistance programs available, including affordable payment plans for customers of DTE’s Low Income Self Sufficiency Plan (LSP) and the Consumers Energy Consumers Affordable Resource for Energy (CARE) plan. They also offer resources for utility payment assistance and/or state emergency relief.
See if you qualify by calling (800) 866-THAW (8429) or visiting THAWFund.org/Programs.
In addition, here are some helpful phone numbers if you have questions about your heating bill:
• DTE Energy: 1-800-477-4747
• Consumers Energy: 1-800-477-5050
• Michigan Gas Utilities: 1-800-401-6402
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