AUGUSTA

Affordable Care Act doesn’t change Medicare policies

Maine officials are reminding residents who receive Medicare coverage that their policies won’t be impacted by the federal health care overhaul.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage said that some people on Medicare may be confused because the enrollment period overlaps with people signing up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

LePage and Bureau of Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa said no changes are necessary to Medicare coverage under the new law. They said seniors should also be cautious of potential scams, like people trying to sell Affordable Care Act policies to those on Medicare.

The state said seniors should never share personal information or their Medicare number with someone who shows up at their door trying to sell them health coverage.

FARMINGTON

Farmington takes on Cyber Monday with Cider Monday

In an effort to combat Cyber Monday, Farmington downtown businesses will be holding Cider Monday on Monday and giving customers free cups of cider as thanks for shopping locally and in person, instead of online.

Event organizer Ken Brechner, owner of Devaney, Doak and Garrett Booksellers, said his bookstore and other downtown businesses want to say thanks to customers who realize shopping from home is not the same as shopping in person locally. At least eight downtown businesses planned to hand out cider as part of the effort.

“We want to thank people who choose to spend the day at actual area businesses instead of online at places where no tax dollars stay in Maine,” Brechner said.

Money spent at a locally owned business puts about 75 percent more money into the area economy than money spent at chain stores, according to a study by the Maine Center for Economic Policy. The study found that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $58 goes back into the local economy. Only $33 stayed local when the same amount was spent at a chain store.

The idea of Cider Monday came from a smattering of independent bookstore operators in the Northeast who say they can’t compete with Amazon and chain stores in price but can provide a relationship with the customer not available online.

“Our middle name is community,” said Brechner. “We put a lot of effort into community outreach.”

MADISON

Town meeting to act on financing agreement

Residents will gather for a special town meeting Monday night to act on amendments to the town’s tax-increment financing agreement with tomato grower Backyard Farms.

The 7 p.m. meeting is expected to include a vote on the amendments, which would expand the district and a list of municipal projects that revenue from the agreement would fund. Tax-increment financing, or TIF, agreements are methods of funding economic development using increases in tax revenue from private investments.

– From staff and news services