Medicare open enrollment help available

November 15, 2012

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period began Oct. 15 and will end Dec. 7. The OEP is a time of year when individuals with Medicare Part A and B may join, change or drop their Medicare Advantage plans.

After Dec. 7, individuals are permitted to make changes to their health and/or drug plans only if they qualify for a special enrollment period. Some of the conditions that can qualify an individual for a special enrollment period, which permits plan changes at any time during the year, are: your 65th birthday; any time you move to a new coverage area; if you suffer from certain chronic medical conditions; or if you are dual eligible (enrolled in Medicare and Medicaid) or receive the low-income subsidy/Extra Help, enrolled in the Extra Help from the government or qualify for this program.

Enrollment centers have been scheduled by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging, in cooperation with Community Action Southwest and Washington Area Senior Center to assist with comparisons of various insurance options to help Medicare beneficiaries make health insurance choices that best suit their needs.

Appointments are necessary.

Applicants must bring their Medicare card, any pertinent insurance cards, the name, address and telephone number of their pharmacy and a list of their prescriptions, including the dosage and frequency taken.

Centers will be held at:

n Community Action Southwest, 58 E. Greene St., Waynesburg; through Dec. 7 by appointment only; call 724-852-2893, ext. 541.

n Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging, 150 W. Beau St., Suite 216, Washington; each Tuesday through Dec. 4 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. by appointment only; call 724-228-7080.

n Southwestern Pennsylvania Area Agency on Aging, 305 Chamber Plaza, Charleroi; each Wednesday and Thursday through Dec. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only; call 724-489-8080 or l-888-300-2704, ext. 4488.



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