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Blair Senior Services, Inc. Seeking Volunteers for Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Blair Senior Services, Inc. Seeking Volunteers for Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Blair Senior Services, Inc. is searching for volunteers to assist them during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which will be from October 15, 2019 to December 7, 2019. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to make changes to their Medicare coverage or enroll in Medicare for the first time. Blair Senior Services, Inc. offers the APPRISE Program, a free health insurance counseling program designed to assist Pennsylvanians with Medicare by bettering understanding their health insurance options.

This Open Enrollment period, however, has a new requirement: “Before consumers will be able to receive Medicare counseling through APPRISE, they will need to create a Medicare account,” said Melissa Hey, APPRISE Coordinator at Blair Senior Services, Inc. “It’s mandated that everyone who wants to receive Medicare counseling must have a Medicare account, and we are anticipating many consumers will not have one and will not feel comfortable making an account,” said Hey. “I’d like to recruit computer savvy individuals who have a basic knowledge of how to create a username and password, and who will be able to make the consumers feel comfortable through the whole process.”

To become a volunteer for the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, limited training will become available and will be able to be completed at home at the volunteer’s convenience. Once completed, Blair Senior Services, Inc. will be notified and interested parties can continue on the path of becoming a volunteer.

“Having volunteers help us with this process will save us a lot of time and will make the whole program run smoothly,” Hey said. “We’re expecting that this will take approximately 15 minutes per person to get the profile created, and this is before we can even start talking to the consumer about Medicare,” Hey said. “So having someone there to assist the consumers beforehand will be fantastic.”

To learn more information on becoming a volunteer for this Open Enrollment Period, please contact Melissa Hey, APPRISE Coordinator, at (814) 946-1235 Ext. 1016.

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05/20/2021

​Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Aging today announced that older adults who will soon be turning 65 and are not yet enrolled in Medicare can attend a free virtual event to learn about their healthcare coverage options when enrolling for Medicare.

 

The "Welcome to Medicare" event on June 23, open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., will feature national presentations from the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs on Medicare eligibility, enrollment and coverage options. Representatives will be available to answer questions and assist older adults with information to enable them to make choices on Medicare coverage that best meets their needs and lowers their costs.

 

In Pennsylvania, this program is known as APPRISE. Throughout the national presentation, staff from APPRISE will host an exhibit for Pennsylvania and will respond to Medicare questions and provide information about the program. The Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly (CARIE) – Pennsylvania's Senior Medicare Patrol – also will join APPRISE to discuss Medicare fraud prevention.

 

"We encourage anyone who is turning 65 soon to join our Virtual Welcome to Medicare Fair. Pennsylvania's Medicare Counseling Program is here to help older adults learn about signing up and navigating the complexities of Medicare, avoiding late enrollment penalties, and preventing fraud," said Susan Neff, APPRISE director. "We also invite those who attend to visit the Pennsylvania-specific virtual exhibit at any time during the event. The APPRISE and CARIE staff look forward to chatting with seniors about their Medicare enrollment concerns."

 

Older adults can register for this event here

 

The APPRISE Program has nearly 800 trained counselors in the commonwealth who provide free, confidential, objective, and easy-to-understand information about original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, and Medicare Supplement plans, and allows Medicare beneficiaries to compare plans and determine what best meets their needs and save them money.

To learn more about the APPRISE Program or becoming a volunteer, click here or call the APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067 .

MEDIA CONTACT: Jack Eilber, agingcomms@pa.gov

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Department Of Aging: June 23 Medicare Event Welcomes Future Beneficiaries With Information On Eligibility, Coverage Options