The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15th through December 7, 2011. If you review your health care plan and prescription drug coverage, you can check to see if another plan could lower your costs. To find out if another plan would be better for you, you will need to gather some information. You will need a list of your medications and a list of your health care providers. For more information about how to review your Medicare coverage, see page 16 of the Elder Update newsletter for Sept/Oct. If you would like one-on-one help with Medicare enrollment questions, you can get help from a SHINE volunteer.
The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program provides free counseling to Seniors about Medicare, Medicaid, long-term care planning, and prescription assistance. The program is administered at the county level through the local "Area Agency on Aging" (other states also have this program - either in their Department of Aging or in their Department of Insurance).
This program trains volunteers to help older adults to get the information that they need to make informed decisions on health insurance issues. They provide information to elders, their caregivers, and their families.
To receive Medicare counseling in Pasco County, you can call 1-800-963-5337. If you are interested in becoming a SHINE volunteer in Pasco County, please contact Sue Samson at 727-570-9696, ext 234.
The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco - Pinellas also provides many other services for seniors and caregivers. You can click on the picture below to access their website: