Council on Aging Offers Free Medicare Counseling to Support Older Adults During Open Enrollment

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The Council on Aging of Central Oregon is providing free counseling about Medicare options to support older adults in navigating the annual open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7. The one-on-one sessions are provided by Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA)-certified volunteers and assist older adults in understanding their options for Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.

“Medicare can be a confusing program, whether you are just turning 65 and need to enroll or want to review your current coverage and prescription plans,” said Council on Aging Executive Director Susan Rotella. “Understanding your Medicare benefits is an essential component of staying physically and financially healthy during the aging process, and our team of certified volunteers is happy to work with our older adult neighbors to get the right coverage for their needs.”

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years or older, or younger than 65 with Social Security Disability Income. Medicare covers many medical costs, including visits to the doctor, prescription medications and preventive care such as mammograms, colonoscopies, diabetes treatment and blood pressure screenings. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage (MA) or a prescription drug plan (Part D) must be completed by December 7 for coverage to begin without interruption on January 1, 2020.

To schedule an appointment for Medicare counseling, call the Council on Aging’s SHIBA line at (541) 678-5483, extension 211. Appointments are available in both English and Spanish. Callers will be asked to leave a message, which will be returned by a certified SHIBA counselor, usually by the end of the next business day.

Asistencia con Medicare y consegeria de SHIBA en español están disponibles llamando al 541-325-6837 o al 541-382-4366.

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