Free sessions help answer York seniors' Medicare questions


Seniors who would like help deciphering their health care options might want to mark their calendars.

Through the first week of December, York County Area Agency on Aging will offer free medical counseling at several locations across the county, giving participants the opportunity to review their Medicare plans.

The agency, through its Apprise program, has scheduled free, one-on-one sessions to reflect Medicare's annual enrollment period, which began Oct. 15 and will continue through Dec. 7.

The counseling sessions, which are open to all Medicare beneficiaries, will offer participants assistance in comparing and reviewing their personal coverage to ensure their health and prescription plans continue to meet their needs.

The sessions are "important for Medicare beneficiaries to attend because this is the only time during the year they can make changes to their health plan," said Jenny Nace with the agency. "You're able to sit down with a counselor, one-on-one, and go over your personalized plan and talk about your medications and your own specific health issues."

Counselors have received intense training on the Medicare system and are there to take the difficulty out of updating a plan.

"It can all be very confusing," Nace said. "The website has improved over the years, but it can be very overwhelming. So we go in there and put in all of the information and do those things for them. We take that step, and it's a great way to have a one-on-one conversation with someone who knows maybe a little more than you do."

Should any changes need to be made in coverage, doing so by Dec. 7 will ensure Medicare will have enough time to process them so any new coverage can begin on Jan. 1, 2016.

Interested parties are required to make appointments ahead of time and are asked to bring both their insurance and Medicare cards.

Dates and locations for sessions:

•Susquehannock High School, 3280 Fissels Church Road, Shrewsbury Township: noon to 3 p.m. Friday;

•Red Land High School, 560 Fishing Creek Road, Fairview Township: 1-2:30 p.m., Nov. 4;

•Kennard-Dale High School, 393 Main St., Fawn Township: 9:30 a.m. to noon, Nov. 9;

•Red Lion Senior Center, 20-C Gotham Place, York Township: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Nov. 12;

•Southwestern High School, 200 Bowman Road, Penn Township: 4-6:15 p.m., Nov. 16;

•Northeastern High School, 300 High St., Manchester: 1-4 p.m., Nov. 18;

•West York Area High School, 1800 Bannister St., West Manchester Township: 4-6 p.m., Nov. 19;

•Red Lion Area High School, 200 Horace Mann Ave., Red Lion: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Nov. 23;

•York Suburban High School, 1800 Hollywood Drive, Spring Garden Township: 4-6 p.m., Nov. 24;

•York County Area Agency on Aging, 100 W. Market St., York: 9 a.m. to noon, Dec. 1, 2 and 3;

To make an appointment at any of the above locations, call the Apprise scheduling line at (717) 771-9042 or (800) 632-9073. Those with questions regarding Medicare can call Apprise's help line at (717) 771-9008.

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.