People who have questions about Medicare Parts A, B, and D, Medigaps, Advantage plans, enrollment, and cost-saving programs can get their questions answered by HIICAP-certified counselors through the Senior Benefits Individual Counseling Services of the Westchester Library System.
Access to counseling has been expanded with the addition of two new helplines. Medicare recipients, as well as those soon to be Medicare-eligible, planning their retirement or helping others with their medical decisions and paperwork will be able to consider what coverage might work best for their situation.
Callers to the Medicare Helplines leave their name, telephone number, the town they live in, and the best time to reach them. A counselor will get back to them for a phone conversation or to set up an online meeting or in-person session at a local library. Counselors can also be reached by email at SBICmedia@gmail.com.
Regularly scheduled free walk-in programs (“SBIC centers”) are already installed at two Westchester libraries:
In SHRUB OAK, every 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at the John C. Hart Memorial Library, 1130 East Main Street
In YONKERS, every 1st Thursday of the month at the Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Avenue
Hours 10 am – 1 pm.
Additional walk-in arrangements are being discussed in preparation for the Fall Enrollment period, October 15 – December 7th, when Medicare recipients can make changes to the plans they have.
In addition to the SBICs and Helplines, WLS also hosts “Demystifying Medicare Online” (seniors.westchesterlibraries.org/ demystifyingmedicare/), where people can find an audio version of the comprehensive and upbeat free workshops given across the county each Spring and Fall, as well pdfs of the handouts used and a schedule of future events. A number of counselors give presentations on Medicare and senior entitlements to county residents on a regular basis.
Counseling for all these programs is provided by HIICAP-certified volunteers (Health Insurance Information Counseling & Assistance Program) in partnership with the county’s Department of Senior Programs – (914) 813-6100 – and the Westchester Library System. You can check for updates to all of these Medicare help programs at seniors.westchesterlibraries.org/.