More than 60 attentive people, wanting insight into how to navigate the Medicare maze sat through three hours of Medicare information during the Oklahoma Medicare Assistant Program summit Wednesday morning
Those already on Medicare can use the Annual Enrollment Period today through Dec. 7 to review and change some of their coverage; while those who are turning 65 can use their individual seven-month Initial Enrollment Period to decide what type of coverage they need, said MAP divisional director Ray Walker, Oklahoma Insurance Department, who has been crisscrossing Oklahoma giving informational Medicare seminars.
The training was designed to help seniors find Medicare resources and make decisions about choosing health and prescription drug coverage; time their decisions to ensure coverage; avoid penalties and provide resource information for those who need help with costs. Additional information about legal issues for seniors including trusts and wills were given by lawyer Barron Brown, OID. Those who need help with a will or other legal matters and are 60 or older qualify to get help from Legal Aid of Oklahoma.
There will be two more Medicare information events this week the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments (ASCOG) Area on Aging will offer free, individual Medicare counseling from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday by appointment and walk-in at the Center for Creative Living and Great Plains Improvement Foundation will hold a free summit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
"Everybody's situation is unique and after getting overall information at a summit, online or in the handbook "Medicare and You," it would benefit them to have a one-on-one meeting with a counselor to address specific issues," said Heather Sladek, ASCOG Area on Aging Information and Assistance specialist.
That uniqueness means that each individual needs to do their own research in the Medicare handbook, call one of the resource for help or get an appointment by phone or in person.