Free Medicare counseling offered at Central Crossing Senior Center

Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Central Crossing Senior Center volunteers are offering assistance with annual Medicare enrollment through Dec. 17, helping seniors review their medical plans to keep more dollars in their pocket. Pictured in photo, from left, is the 2017 Medicare Counseling team: Dee Bailey and Toni Lauenroth; Middle Row: Leona Beezley, Rita Goodhead and Janet Horine; Back row: Jennifer Tennison, Debbie Morrisey, Jerry Arnold, Joann Gary, Treva Warrick and Bailey Southard. Absent from photo: Cindy Thomovsky and Kindra Willey. Contributed photo

Publicity Officer: 'Service may save you hundreds of dollars'

Central Crossing Senior Center is again offering free Medicare counseling to Barry County seniors to help them keep as many dollars in their own pockets as they can for 2018 medical expenses.

This year, the enrollment period is from Oct. 16 through Dec. 17. During this time period, eligible seniors can review and make changes in their Medicare Part D, and may change from Advantage Plans to Medicare, or Medicare to Advantage Plans.  

Jeff Harp, chief publicity officer for CCSC, emphasized the importance of seniors having their plans reviewed annually.

"Your plan could change next year, or another plan may change, which will save you money," he said. "Not changing plans could cost seniors valuable dollars they may need to stretch.

"For example, do you know if your current Part D provider has changed its drug costs, premiums or its deductibles? Medicare Part D has numerous changes that you may not be aware of. Additionally, there is much to learn regarding the differences between Medicare and the various Advantage Plans available for next year."  

All counselors at CCSC are trained Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) Volunteers. They are not paid, and offer unbiased services.

"Their motivation is only to assist area seniors in choosing the best health plan available," Harp said. "Since the inception of this service, 974 Seniors have saved $444,695. That’s an average savings of $457 each. These seniors will unanimously agree that it is important to have an independent unbiased review of your Medicare options.

To utilize the service, people may call 417-858-3456 to make an appointment. Due to limited volunteer counselors and limited time, the center urges seniors to set an appointment at their earliest convenience.

"Taking action on this free service may save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in your 2018 medical expenses," Harp said.

The service has been provided to area seniors since 2008.

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