SCRANTON, Pa., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne advised older Pennsylvanians that the Medicare annual enrollment period begins on Thursday, October 15th and ends Monday, December 7th at an event at the Lutherwood Senior Housing Community in Scranton.
"Open enrollment is an important time for Medicare beneficiaries to review their health and prescription drug plans to ensure that the plans meet their needs," said Secretary Osborne. "Whether you are inquiring on your own behalf, or you are a family caregiver or friend ensuring that the Medicare coverage for a loved one provides the best value, trained APPRISE counselors are available to walk you through the Medicare open enrollment process and make it less overwhelming."
A division within the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, the APPRISE Program is part of the national State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP), which provides free, in-depth, one-on-one insurance counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers. APPRISE counselors are trained volunteers who can answer questions about Medicare and assist older Pennsylvanians with selecting their Medicare coverage options. They provide objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid and long-term care insurance in order for older adults to compare plans and determine which one best meets their needs.
Pennsylvania has over 670 trained APPRISE volunteers who provided 82,000 counseling hours this past year. APPRISE volunteers are holding Open Enrollment Events through local Area Agencies on Aging across the Commonwealth to provide guidance on the different Medicare health insurance and prescription drug plan coverage options available as beneficiaries plan for the coming year.
"Governor Wolf and I have been working with other cabinet members to ensure that older Pennsylvanians receive the highest quality healthcare possible," said Secretary Osborne. "Today, I am encouraging our state's seniors to take a look at their care options, and let us help them through APPRISE if they need assistance."
To learn more about the APPRISE Program or to find an Open Enrollment Event in your area, call 1-800-783-7067 or visit www.aging.pa.gov.
Medicare beneficiaries can also complete their own plan comparisons by accessing the plan finder tool on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan or call 1-800-MEDICARE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Media Contact: Kirstin Snow, 717-787-3368
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Aging