Need help with Medicare? Attend a meeting

Published 6:41 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Locals who are eligible for Medicare and need help sorting through all the different options for medical and prescription drug plans can receive help in the coming weeks.

Clayton Davis of the Southern Alabama Regional Council on Aging (SARCOA) said there will be three enrollment events.

Tues., Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., at the Opp Senior Center; Wed., Nov. 20, at the Andalusia Senior Center; and Mon., Nov. 25, at the Florala Senior Center.

“Medicare beneficiaries are especially urged to evaluate their plan options this year because several new Medicare plans will become available in Covington County for 2020 and many of the existing plans will have large decreases and others will have large increases in the cost of premiums and co-payments for the new will,” he said. “Some plans have also removed numerous important drugs from their coverage lists for next year.  The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), sponsored by the Southern Alabama Regional Council on Aging (SARCOA), provide information and assistance concerning health insurance issues to Medicare beneficiaries of all ages.  In addition, if you are over 55 and do not have Medicare or Medicaid or if you are on disability or have medical evidence of disability at any age but you do not have Medicare yet, you can apply for free help obtaining prescription drugs through the SARCOA Senior Rx Program.  People who are over age sixty can also receive help with legal issues”

People should bring their prescription containers, Social Security cards, Medicare and any other health or prescription cards (if they have any), date of birth, and income information.

Those unable to attend on of the events, you may receive free help by telephone by calling SARCOA’s SHIP contractor, Davis & Associates, at (334) 303-7900.

During the annual open enrollment period (October 15 through December 7), all Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in whatever Medicare medical and prescription drug plan they choose for 2020.

Those eligible for Medicare whose household incomes are below $1581.25 monthly (one person household) or $2133.75 monthly (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 household are increased $552.50 monthly for each additional person in the household who is financially dependent on the Medicare beneficiary.  You can attend one of the events to enroll or you can telephone (334) 303-7900 to determine whether you qualify for any of these extra benefits.

In addition, if you are having problems with the medical or drug plan in which you  are  enrolled or if you suspect mistakes or fraud has occurred with any Medicare or other health insurance claim, you should attend one of the events or request help by telephone.  Legal assistance will also be available at the events or by telephone to people over sixty years of age (regardless of income) who need help with non-criminal legal matters, such as a power of attorney.  Call (334) 303-7900 and ask for help from the legal assistance program.