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Medicare Part D Help Available in Person

Enrolling in a Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan) can make your head spin. Luckily, Southwest Senior Center can help.

How much does it cost? Does it cover the drugs that I need? Can I use my regular pharmacy? If I travel a lot, can I get my prescriptions filled out of state? What are my co-pays?  Are there other drug programs out there that can help me pay for my drugs? If I have a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes Medicare part D, do I have any choices? Should I stick with my current plan or change? Am I eligible for the Part D subsidy (also known as “Extra Help”) which allows people to pay a reduced monthly premium and/or lowers co-pays for prescription drugs? 

These questions can feel overwhelming. Luckily, people in Southwest Minneapolis have an advocate at Volunteers of America – Minnesota’s who can help you navigate the Medicare Part D system.

Each year, helps over 100 people make important choices about Medicare Part D. “It can be a very confusing process and we want to make sure that seniors are making informed choices that can ensure that they are getting the drugs that they need and that they aren’t paying more than necessary. I’ve met with people who discovered that a drug that they are taking is not going to be covered the next year. That can have a huge financial impact.”

The open enrollment period for 2012 drug plans will be October 15th through December 7th this year, with the change becoming effective January 1, 2012. This is different from past years when the open enrollment was November 15th through December 31st. Linda can meet with you in person to review your options and to help you assess your program choices. To make an appointment with Linda, please call 612-822-3194. You should bring the following information to your appointment:

  • Medicare card (not just the Medicare number), Linda will need the effective date for Part A and/or Part B.
  • Information on your current drug plan.
  • A list of the prescription drugs you take, as well as dosage and how many times per day it is prescribed. (It is best to bring the bottles to ensure correct spelling).
  • Name and location of pharmacy where you get your medications.

Remember, even if you are satisfied with your 2011 Part D plan, it could be changing or there may be another plan that is more advantageous for you. This open enrollment time is the only time that most people can make changes to their Part D plan. Don’t miss out on this critical opportunity.

In addition to working with seniors on Medicare Part D, Linda is available to help people with other issues including Social Security, Medicare Parts A and B, housing options, home care options, caregiver issues, health care directives and much more.

Southwest Senior Center offers a wide variety of programs, services and volunteer opportunities that support the health and independence of older adults. Southwest Senior Center is located at 3612 Bryant Avenue South, Minneapolis. For more information, call 612-822-3194 or e-mail mschoenberger@voamn.org.

VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA-MINNESOTA
Volunteers of America-Minnesota is a nonprofit organization founded in 1896 which offers a wide variety of services to more than 26,500 children, adolescents and their families, students, older adults, persons with disabilities and special needs, and individuals completing rehabilitation programs each year. It is one of the oldest, largest and most comprehensive human service organizations in the state and has more than 60 programs, 900 employees and 13,600 volunteers. Volunteers of America has a rich history of developing innovative, quality programs to meet emerging social issues and prides itself on sponsoring programs which are able to articulate explicitly the outcomes achieved in its program participants' lives. For more information about Volunteers of America-Minnesota, visit http://www.voamn.org, or call (952) 945-4000.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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