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Area Agency On Aging helps seniors with Medicare enrollment

Medicare Open Enrollment
Area Agency on Aging
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Open enrollment for Medicare begins Friday, giving seniors a chance to change or add to their coverage. The Area Agency on Aging wants to help seniors and their caregivers navigate an often overwhelming process.

The open enrollment period allows Medicare participants to change their coverage. People who have signed up for Medicare Parts A and B can add supplemental coverage under Part C, to cover things like routine vision and dental care or hearing aids. They can also reexamine their drug coverage under Part D.

Those eligible for Medicare are often inundated with sales calls this time of year. The nonprofit Area Agency on Aging offers seniors in the 19 Counties of The Big Country free help with the often-intimidating process, with no incentive to guide clients toward specific plans.

Case manager and benefits counselor with the agency, Emily Lomax says premiums and copays change every year, “It matters what prescriptions you have. So we go in to Medicare.gov and create you an account, or log into an account that you’ve already created, and we verify all of your prescriptions and your pharmacies. And then we compare the plans that cover those certain prescriptions and have those pharmacies in network. And we find out which one is the best cost for you.”

Seniors have until December 7 to complete their enrollment, but Lomax says the appointments have begun to fill up, and she’s currently scheduling people for early November. And she notes that they are currently holding appointments virtually.