Because COVID has forced libraries and community centers to cancel their events this spring, WSOS’s light-hearted and interactive “Demystifying Medicare” workshops have also been postponed.
But, the Westchester Library System does not want anyone to lose out on this ongoing opportunity to learn how Medicare works, since a complete understanding of the whole system is key to making the best personal health insurance decisions.
So they’ve put a version of this upbeat and interactive workshop online, where people can absorb audio chapters at their own pace and refer to downloadable handouts that are used in the live presentations. You can access all of these at wikis.westchesterlibraries.org/sbic/demystifying-medicare/, keeping in mind that the rules for Medigaps differ somewhat from state to state.
“Demystifying Medicare” is designed not only for people currently enrolled in Medicare, but for those soon to be 65 or helping relatives and friends with their medical decisions and paperwork. Topics include Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, prescription drug plans, Medigaps (supplemental plans), EPIC, and cost-saving programs for people with limited resources.
In a non-COVID universe, Westchester Seniors Out Speaking works year-round in other ways to help people with Medicare. They run free Senior Benefits Individual Counseling centers (SBICs) at nine libraries throughout the year, where people can get answers to their coverage and billing questions on a first come, first served basis. The roughly 80 volunteers in this program have been trained and updated monthly by the Medicare Rights Center in New York City, an advocacy group not affiliated with the insurance companies or with Medicare itself.
For questions about the “Demystifying Medicare Online” or to sign up for future live presentations, please leave your name and number at (914) 231-3236, or email SBICmedia@gmail.com . You can getindividual help at the WSOS helpline, (914) 231-3260, or by emailing them at SBIC@wlsmail.org. Like the workshops, the counseling is also free.