Council on Aging Offers Free Medicare Open Enrollment Counseling for Seniors through December 7, 2020


The Council on Aging of Central Oregon is providing free Medicare counseling to support older adults in navigating the annual open enrollment period, which runs from October 15 to December 7. The one-on-one phone or Zoom sessions are provided by Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA)-certified volunteers and assist seniors in reevaluating their coverage — whether it’s Original Medicare (Parts A & B) with supplemental drug coverage (Part D), or Medicare Advantage (Part C) — and make changes or purchase new policies if they want to do so.

“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 SHIBA volunteers are happy to work with our tri-county seniors 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 a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or a prescription drug plan (Part D), or making any changes to existing coverage, must be completed by December 7, 2020 for coverage to begin without interruption on January 1, 2021.

To schedule an appointment for Medicare counseling, call the Council on Aging’s SHIBA line at 541-678-5483, extension 211. 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. Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, all Medicare Counseling appointments this year will be over the phone or Zoom only.

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

For updates, news and resources for seniors and their caregivers in Central Oregon, follow the Council on Aging’s Facebook page or visit


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Founded in 1994 by the late Pamela Hulse Andrews, Cascade Business News (CBN) became Central Oregon’s premier business publication. •

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