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Receive guidance on Medicare plans during open enrollment

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on November 07, 2018 with No Comments

Medicare’s annual Open Enrollment Period runs through Dec. 7.

That means, if you are on Medicare, this is the time to review your current drug or health plan to make sure your plan’s coverage is still the right fit for you in 2019, said SHIP volunteer and local coordinator Ginger Brockwehl.

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, housed in the offices of the Porter County Aging and Community Services, is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana.

“This is also the time to see if there are other plans that cost less and/or cover more.  Each year Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and Advantage Plans make changes to their premiums, drugs they cover, and the co-payments you must pay,” Brockwehl said. “Often there are new plans and choices available in your area.”

SHIP officials recommend meeting with a volunteer counselor who will use the Medicare plan finder to review plan options and show seniors all of the choices for 2019.

“If you want to make a change, our volunteers can help you enroll,” Brockwehl said. “If you are happy with your current plan, you don’t need to do anything – we can provide you with your estimated drug costs for 2019.”

SHIP counselors are available weekdays at PCACS, 1005 Campbell St., in Valparaiso. To schedule an appointment at PCACS, call 219-464-1028 or email SHIP@portercountyacs.org.

Energy Assistance Program appointments available

Our team and volunteers administer the Energy Assistance Program that assists seniors and individuals with disabilities who are struggling to pay their energy bills. The income-eligible program helps qualified participants by electronically paying the appropriate energy company.

This year’s season is now open in November and appointments can be scheduled by calling 219-464-9736 and selecting 1.

To review what documents are needed or income eligibility requirements, visit www.portercountyacs.org/energy-assistanceand click on the 2018 Energy Assistance Appointment Form.

A change this year to the program requirements is that renters only need to submit a landlord affidavit form if the utilities are included in the rent.

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About Bruce Lindner

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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