Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs - Southern Maryland Headline News

Charles Co. Gov. News Briefs

Medicare Offering Equitable Relief until Sept. 30

Many Americans miss their deadline to enroll in Medicare because they mistakenly think that the purchase of insurance on the marketplaces exempts them from Medicare. This belief costs many Medicare recipients thousands of dollars in medical costs. People who qualify for Medicare will lose subsidies in the online exchange plans, and continuing enrollment an exchange plan will not protect them from a permanent Medicare late enrollment penalty. Medicare is temporarily offering a reprieve from late enrollment penalties (LEP) for those who enrolled in the Affordable Care Act after becoming eligible for Medicare.

You may be eligible to request a time-limited equitable relief if you delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B so that you could stay in your health care insurance plan, known as a Qualified Health Plan (QHP). This opportunity to request equitable relief lasts until Sept. 30, 2017.

This equitable relief helps you enroll in Medicare as soon as possible and can erase a late enrollment penalty. If you are eligible, the equitable relief will let you enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty; or eliminate or reduce your Part B late enrollment penalty if you are already enrolled in Part B but delayed enrollment when you had a QHP. If you do not have premium-free Part A, but you are eligible, you can enroll at any time. You must be enrolled in premium-free Part A in order to request equitable relief.

Steps to request equitable relief:

1. Gather appropriate documentation. You will need proof of your QHP enrollment. You may also wish to bring a Part B enrollment form (Form CMS-40B) and your Medicare card. You can also fill out a Part B enrollment form at your Social Security office.

Examples of proof of Qualified Health Plan (QHP) can be:

• Letter of enrollment in both Medicare and QHP.

• QHP premium bills and proof of payment.

• IRS form 1095-A.

• A Marketplace QHP eligibility determination notice.

• Receipt from first premium payment (also called a premium binder payment).

2. Call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or go to to find a local Social Security office that you can visit in person.

3. Once at the office or on the phone with a representative, ask to use the time-limited equitable relief to enroll in Part B and/or eliminate your Part B late enrollment penalty. You must mention that you were enrolled in both premium-free Part A and a Marketplace QHP. If you are calling to eliminate an late enrollment penalty, you must specifically request that you want the late enrollment penalty eliminated.

For more information, contact Ruth Anderson-Cole at 301-609-5712. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Hughesville Village Zoning Public Hearing Scheduled for Sept. 19

The Charles County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on the proposed new zoning for Hughesville Village on Tuesday, Sept. 19, at 6 p.m. in the Charles County Government Building (200 Baltimore Street, La Plata).

This zoning change would promote a traditional, walkable pattern of development in the village, as envisioned by the Hughesville Village Revitalization Plan, adopted by the County Commissioners in 2007. The proposed Hughesville Village Zoning District consists of four Sub-Zones: Core, Gateway, Residential, and Employment. More information on the proposed zoning and proposed map can be found on the County website at

County Commissioner meetings are aired live on CCGTV, which broadcasts on Comcast channel 95 and Verizon channel 10. County Commissioner meeting agendas are available for public viewing at

Citizens wishing to make oral or written comments are encouraged to attend the public hearing. For more information, contact Amy Blessinger, Planner III at (301) 645-0650 or Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Medicare Seminars Available in September

Are you overwhelmed with Medicare television ads and brochures? Navigating the Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D can be as confusing as alphabet soup. Join your local State Health Insurance Program in conjunction with Charles County Public Library, and get simplified information about Medicare, including the Senior Medicare Patrol program, savings programs, and supplemental insurance. Attend one of the seminars below to receive valuable information about services you may be eligible for.

La Plata Public Library (2 Garrett Avenue, La Plata)

• Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m.

• Wednesday, Sept. 20 at 6 p.m.

P.D. Brown Memorial Public Library (50 Village Street, Waldorf)

• Thursday, Sept. 7 at 10 a.m.

• Monday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m.

Potomac Public Library (3225 Ruth B. Swann Drive, Indian Head)

• Tuesday, Sept. 12 at 6 p.m.

• Monday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m.

Waldorf West Public Library (10405 O'Donnell Place, Waldorf)

• Thursday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m.

• Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.

• Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m.

For more information, contact Ruth Anderson-Cole at 301-609-5712. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Vendor Opportunities Available at Sixth Annual Celebrate Charles FallFest

Local artisans and crafters are invited to showcase their goods and talents in the sixth annual Celebrate Charles: FallFest on Saturday, Oct. 21 from noon to 4 p.m. at Capital Clubhouse (3033 Waldorf Marketplace, Waldorf). Register today to secure a spot at this exciting family-friendly event.

The registration fee is $25. Each vendor will receive one 10- by-10 space with one 8-foot table and two folding chairs. Vendors may opt to participate in the Trick-or-Treat Trail, but are required to provide their own candy or giveaway if doing so. Home party sales vendors are not accepted at this time.

For more information and to register, visit, or call 1-800-766-3386. Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Open House Meeting on VanGO Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility Set for Sept. 20

The County Commissioners and the Maryland Department of Transportation/Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA) are encouraging public input on a proposed VanGO Transit Operations and Maintenance Facility. An open house meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 20 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Waldorf Jaycee Community Center (3090 Crain Highway, Waldorf). MDOT/MTA staff will be available to answer questions.

The public can stop by anytime during the open house to meet with project staff, view informational display boards, and provide comments on the proposed site. The new facility will allow the VanGO service to expand operations by providing parking for 60 buses, on-site fuel, bus wash areas, and staff parking. Additionally, the project includes a 20,000-square-foot maintenance and operations building.

After studying various locations and their impacts, the Board of Commissioners selected a five- to 10-acre portion of the county-owned property on Piney Church Road—directly across from the Regency Furniture Stadium. Environmental studies and conceptual design are anticipated to be complete in December, after which time the schedule will be determined by available funding.

For more information, visit the VanGO website at

Charles County Launches Storm Drain Stenciling and Marking Program

The Watershed Protection and Restoration Program (WPRP) has launched a storm drain stenciling and marking program. Volunteers can help raise awareness about stormwater pollution in their communities by stenciling or marking storm drains. Storm drains flow to local streams and rivers. Marking or stenciling drains reduces pollution by reminding citizens only rain should go down the storm drain.

Groups such as scouts, environmental groups, middle and high school students, Homeowner Associations, or individuals are encouraged to participate. Stenciling and marking is ideal for the fall and spring months, but may be done year round depending on weather conditions. Basic supplies except paint for stenciling are available on loan. Groups interested in volunteering may apply online or download an application form at

For more information, please visit the web page above or contact Erica Hahn at 301-396-5237 or Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

Commission for Women Meeting Scheduled for Sept. 14

The next Charles County Commission for Women (CCCW) meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Economic Development Department Conference Room (10665 Stanhaven Place, Suite 206, White Plains). CCCW meetings are scheduled the second Thursday of the month and are open to the public.

The CCCW works to raise awareness of issues affecting women and families by serving as a conduit between women and existing services, and advocating for programs, education, and legislation.

For more information about the CCCW, visit or email at Follow us on Twitter at, or find us on Facebook at Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 866-269-9006.

County Commissioners Meeting Agendas for Sept. 12 and 13, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

1. [1:00 p.m.] Open Session (Commissioners' Meeting Room)

1.01 [1:00 p.m.] Call to Order/Pledge of Allegiance

1.02 [1:00 p.m.] Recognition: Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation

1.03 [1:00 p.m.] National Recovery Month Proclamation

1.04 [1:00 p.m.] Recognition: National Preparedness Month Proclamation

1.05 [1:15 p.m.] Recognition: Emergency Services Life Safety Awards

1.06 [1:30 p.m.] Commissioners' Comments

1.07 [1:30 p.m.] Approval of the Minutes of August 1, 2017

1.08 [1:30 p.m.] Notice of the Tentative Agenda of September 19, 2017

1.09 [1:35 p.m.] Approval Items

1.10 [1:40 p.m.] July Monthly Report (Mr. Michael Mallinoff, County Administrator)

1.11 [1:45 p.m.] Briefing: DBE Goals for VanGo Bus Procurement (Mr. Steven Kaii-Ziegler, Director and Planning & Growth Management/Mr. Jeffry Barnett, Chief of Transit)

1.12 [1:50 p.m.] Briefing and Request for Approval: Healthy Vending Resolution (Ms. Megan Donnick, Assistant Director of Human Resources/Ms. Kristin Baucon, Human Resources)

1.13 [2:05 p.m.] Request for Approval: 2017 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan (Ms. Eileen Minnick, Director of Recreation, Parks and Tourism)

1.14 [2:10 p.m.] Briefing: Library Facilities Master Plan (Ms. Janet Salazar, Charles County Public Library)

1.15 [2:30 p.m.] Briefing and Request for Approval: Floodplain Management Community Rating System (Mr. Hamendra Mathur, Acting Chief of Codes, Permits & Inspection Services/Ms. Elsa Ault, Floodplain Management & Permits Engineer III)

1.16 [2:55 p.m.] Briefing and Request for Approval: Kirby House/Deacon Property Lease Agreement (Ms. Deborah Hall, Deputy County Administrator)

2. [3:15 p.m.] Closed Session (Government Building Conference Room)

2.01 [3:15 p.m.] Closed Session (Legal) All or a portion of this session may be closed pursuant to Section 3-305(b)(1) of the General Provisions Article of the Annotated Code of Maryland

3. [6:00 p.m.] Public Hearing (Commissioners' Meeting Room)

3.01 [6:00 p.m.] Public Hearing: Bill 2017-06 for Zoning Text Amendment 16-144 and Subdivision Regulation Amendment 16-02 Criteria for Appeals to the Board of Appeals


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The County Commissioners will not be holding public session. The Commissioners will be representing the county at other meetings and will conduct individual appointments as scheduled.


Citizens with special needs may contact the Maryland Relay Service at 711, or Relay Service TDD: 800-735-2258.

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