Medicare Open Enrollment started on October 15th and runs through December 7th, yet still no live workshops to help people get a handle on the complicated subject of healthcare coverage for seniors. But, help is at hand – literally!
The Westchester Library System’s Medicare counselors have put its upbeat and interactive workshop online. For a free, easy-to-use audio version that people can absorb at their own pace, visit https://wikis.westchesterlibraries.org/sbic/demystifying-medicare/. You’ll be able to see all the displays used in the live presentations and download all the same handouts.
Newly added at the top of the screen is a 5-minute video on how this presentation works. Also new is a .pdf on “Medicare and COVID” outlining the relaxation of some of Medicare’s rules during this public health emergency. Any live workshops scheduled once the libraries start permitting these again are listed down below the audio chapters.
“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. A complete understanding of the whole system works is key to making the best personal health insurance decisions. 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 get individual help at the WSOS helpline, (914) 231-3260, or by emailing them at SBIC@wlsmail.org. Like the workshops, the counseling is also free.