Navigating Medicare can be confusing, but the York County Area Agency on Aging has local seniors covered - for free.

Through its APPRISE Program, the agency will offer free, personalized counseling sessions during Medicare's annual enrollment period, from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

During this time, Medicare beneficiaries can review their coverage, compare plans and make changes.

The program has provided these services to York since 1992. About 2,000 York-area seniors came to last year's sessions, said agency spokeswoman Jenny Nace. And with more than 77,000 Medicare beneficiaries in York County, space is tight, she said.

"We usually fill up very quickly," Nace said, so those interested should call and schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

The program: The counseling sessions are just that: They help Medicare beneficiaries better understand their health insurance options, she said. The program is not affiliated with any insurance company and does not sell insurance.

Instead, volunteers are trained to run the program, Nace said. High school students even help with data entry, she said.

"The really unique thing about this program is that it's primarily volunteer-driven," Nace said.

The counseling sessions are a one-on-one conversation about each senior's health care plan, she said. Attendees bring in a list of the medications they're on, as well as their insurance cards, and are given choices that fit their situations, Nace said.

"It's a very individualized session," she said. "Everyone's health situation is different. And we just give them the options."

-Reach Mollie Durkin at mdurkin@yorkdispatch.com.

At a Glance

Medicare beneficiaries can sign up for a one-on-one counseling session by calling the APPRISE scheduling line at 717-771-9042 or 1-800-632-9073.

Appointments are necessary, and sessions are at various locations throughout York County from Oct. 16 through Dec. 3:

4 to 6 p.m. Oct. 16 and Nov. 20: York Suburban High School, 1800 Hollywood Drive, Spring Garden Township

1 to 3:30 p.m. Oct. 17: Red Land High School, 560 Fishing Creek Road, Fairview Township

3:30 to 6 p.m. Oct. 21 and Nov. 18: West York Area High School, 1800 Bannister St., West Manchester Township

4 to 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 and Nov. 13: South Western High School, 200 Bowman Road, Penn Township

9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 25: Susquehannock High School, 3280 Fissels Church Road, Shrewsbury Township

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 29 and Nov. 26: Spring Grove Area High School, 1490 Roth Church Road, Jackson Township

9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 30: Kennard-Dale High School, 393 Main St., Fawn Township

3:30 to 6 p.m. Nov. 7: Dallastown Area High School, 700 New School Lane, York Township

1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 8: Red Lion Area Senior High School, 200 Horace Mann Ave., Red Lion

1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 21: Northeastern High School, 300 High St., Manchester

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 2 and Dec. 3: York County Area Agency on Aging, 100 West Market St., York City