Medicare Open Enrollment Begins In October; Freeholder Urges Seniors To Be Prepared

With Medicare open enrollment starting in October, Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as Chairman of Senior Services, wants recipients to be prepared to review and make needed changesto coverage.

“The open enrollment period is from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 and the final selection for 2013 must be made by Dec. 7,” Vicari noted. “We are offering several workshops for our seniors and caregivers in order to provide helpful information on Medicare.”

During the open enrollment, people with Medicare can sign up for a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or switch their current plan. This is the time to review and make changes to coverage since the final selection for 2013 must be made by Dec. 7. This will ensure that Medicare has enough time to process plan choices so coverage can begin without interruption on Jan. 1, 2013.

“We are making an all out effort to help people learn about important changes for 2013. Medicare plans change every year, and so do our health needs, therefore; older adults really need to explore their options,” Vicari said. In Ocean County, help is available for seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries with the enrollment process and/or to answer any questions about the program.

Jane Maloney, Director of Ocean County Senior Services noted that there are five educational seminars scheduled throughout the county that address the 2013 changes.

Workshop dates, times and locations are: Oct. 16, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Original Leisure Village, Buckingham Hall, 19 Buckingham Drive, Lakewood; Oct. 18, 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., Manchester Township Civic Center, 1 Colonial Drive, Manchester; Oct. 18, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Brick Senior Center, 373 Adamston Road, Brick Township; Oct. 22, 10:30 a.m. to noon, Ocean County Southern Service Center, 179 South Main St., Routes 9 and 72, Stafford Township, and Nov. 1, 10 a.m. to noon, the Berkeley Township Municipal Building, 627 Pinewald-Keswick Road, Berkeley Township.

The workshops are designed to provide information regarding important changes to the Part D plans in 2013. Seven (7) plans will be terminating in 2013 and five new plans will be available. The workshops are free and open to the public; registration is required by calling the Ocean County Office of Senior Services, 1-800-668-4899, 732-929-2091.

“It is our sincere hope that our Medicare beneficiaries will take advantage of these workshops so they will make sound health insurance decisions going forward,” said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. TLS.

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