Medicare enrollment events this week

Published 12:00am Thursday, November 21, 2013

People looking for some help choosing from Medicare medical and prescription drug plans for the new year can find it today at an enrollment event at the Opp Senior Center.

The local event will be held from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the OSC, located at 107 Main St. in Opp. Two other events will be held Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Andalusia Adult Activities Center, located at 420 Church St., and Tuesday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Florala Senior Center, located at 1338 Fourth St.

The events are open to all residents who are eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and Medicare beneficiaries are especially urged to evaluate their options, because many plans will come with large increases or decreases in premiums and co-pays beginning in 2014.

According to information released from the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), sponsored by the Southern Alabama Regional Council on Aging (SARCOA), information and assistance concerning health insurance issues for Medicare beneficiaries will be provided at all three events.

In addition, people age 55 and over who do not have Medicare or Medicaid, as well as those on disability or having evidence of medical disability at any age, may apply for free help obtaining prescription drugs through the SARCOA Senior Rx Program.

People age 65 and older may also receive help with legal issues during the three upcoming events.

Those planning to attend any of the three events, should bring their prescription cards, proof of date of birth and income information.

According to information released by event organizers, all  Medicare beneficiaries may enroll in whatever Medicare medical and prescription drug plan they choose for 2014 during the annual open enrollment period, which began Oct. 15 and will last through Dec. 7.

Those eligible for Medicare whose household incomes are below $1,456.25 monthly for a one person household, or $1,958.75 monthly for a two person household, may be eligible for extra help that could greatly reduce the cost of their medical and prescription drug coverage.

The income limits for larger households are increased $502.50 monthly for each additional person in the household who is financially dependent on the Medicare beneficiary.

Those eligible may enroll at any of the three events, or may check by telephone to determine eligibility.

For those who cannot attend, free help may be accessed by telephone by calling SARCOA’s SHIP contractor, Davis & Neal, at (334) 671-3990 or 1-888-671-5246.

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