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Medicare annual enrollment under way through Dec. 31

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 With Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period running through Dec. 31, now is the time for seniors to review their health care and prescription drug coverage.   Elder Options is a local source  of free information and assistance to help seniors through this important  period in Medicare.    

Elder Options’s SHINE program (Serving Health  Insurance Needs of Elders), is reminding Medicare beneficiaries to  carefully evaluate their health care needs and seek assistance in preparing  for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period.

With so many options among Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans, which vary by location, it is important for seniors to understand what options are available and at what cost.  

Medicare beneficiaries who have questions or concerns about the upcoming Medicare Annual Enrollment Period have a place to turn for objective help. Specially trained SHINE volunteer counselors provide free information and assistance.   If you cannot get to a SHINE location, or if you prefer telephone contact, you may request a phone appointment by calling  the Elder Helpline  toll-free at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337).

Individuals interested in comparing plans should be ready with important information about their health and prescription drug coverage.  To provide the best assistance, SHINE volunteers need a list of medications the individual takes, a list of providers he or she wants to use (e.g., doctor or pharmacy), and any notices from an existing plan (i.e., Annual Notice of Change), Social Security, or Medicare about changes to costs and coverage for next year.

SHINE is a free service of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, that provides free and unbiased Medicare information and counseling.  For more information or to  earn how you can volunteer, please call the Elder Helpline toll-free at: 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) or visit online at: www.FloridaSHINE.org.