Medicare Part D Help Available in Person - Check Costs and Coverage Each Year

Getting help to choose Medicare Part D can ensure that you are getting the right plan in terms of cost and coverage.

Until I started working at a senior center, I only thought of donut holes as cute, round snacks. Little did I know that “falling in the donut hole” wasn’t something thatwould result in a mess, but something that could mean huge out of pocket
prescription drug costs for seniors.  I also didn’t know that health plans can change their formularies so that a prescription drug that is covered one year man not be covered the next.  I know that I’m not alone in being a bit
overwhelmed by all the rules and regulations regarding Medicare Part D, the
Medicare Prescription Drug Program, so that’s why I’m glad that we have an
experienced social worker at Volunteers of America – Minnesota’s Southwest
Senior Center to help people sort through the choices and make a wise decision
about which plan will serve them best.

Center Social Worker Linda Walker helps over 100 people make important choices about Medicare Part D each year. “It can be a very confusing process and we want to make sure that seniorsare making informed choices that can ensure that they are getting the drugsthat 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.”

While working with Linda, Jeannette Weeks, 65, learned that by switching plans she could reduce her yearly Medicare Part D costs from $2,223 to $638, and still have coverage for the eleven prescription drugs that she needs to take.  “I’m amazed that I can save so much money and get the same coverage.  I really trust Linda to help me make a good choice.”

The open enrollment period for 2013 drug plans will be October15 through December 7, 2012, with the change becoming effective January 1,2013.  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 for your no cost consultation, please call 612-822-3194.  You should bring the following information to
your appointment:

     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 2012 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 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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