Office For The Aging To Host Health Insurance Forums

The Chautauqua County Office for the Aging is hosting a series of countywide health insurance public forums to provide information to seniors, veterans, and caregivers as they prepare for Medicare Open Enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

The forums will have professionals on hand to provide information about Medicare changes for 2018, veteran’s health care and answer questions so individuals have the knowledge they need to select a plan that works best for them.

Forums will be held the following dates:

¯ Tuesday, Oct. 3, from 1-3 p.m. at the Findley Lake Community Center, 2883 North Road, Findley Lake, hosted by Community Connections at Findley Lake.

¯ Wednesday, Oct. 4, from 1-3 p.m. at the Harvest Chapel, 39 Matteson St. Fredonia.

¯ Thursday, Oct. 5, from 1-4 p.m. at the Chautauqua Mall – Heritage Ministries location near JCPenney, 318 E. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, hosted by Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, Heritage Ministries and Chautauqua Mall.

During the first hour of the public forums, the programs will feature Medicare information and updates, presentations from health insurance providers on 2018 plans, veteran’s health coverage and an overview of EPIC program for 2018. There also will be information and enrollment opportunities for Medicare Savings Program and EPIC program. Office for the Aging health insurance counselors will also be on-site to schedule HIICAP Open Enrollment appointments.

The Medicare Open Enrollment Information and Insurance Fair is new this year. It will include stations for individuals to stop at to pick up information from representatives of Medicare Advantage Plans and information on the 2018 Part D prescription drug plans, veterans’ health coverage, caregiver’s program, EPIC and more. It will also feature three workshops that will be presented by Christine Cheronis, Office for the Aging’s Medicare health insurance coordinator. Scheduled workshops include, “What is Open Enrollment and How You Get Ready” at 1:30 p.m., “Questions to Ask About Medicare Insurance Plans Before You Enroll” at 2:30 p.m., and “Programs to Help Lower Prescription Drug Costs and Health Insurance Costs” at 3:30 p.m. Attendees will also have the opportunity to schedule their annual health insurance counseling appointment with one of the OFA’s certified health insurance counselors and enroll in the Medicare Savings Plan.

“The OFA provides year-round, unbiased, confidential health care counseling at no cost to seniors with Medicare questions,” said Dr. Mary Ann Spanos, Office for the Aging director. “These informational forums are just another service that OFA is offering to help our seniors understand Medicare, feel comfortable about their health care coverage and have that peace of mind that they deserve.”

For more information, contact any of the OFA local offices at Dunkirk: 363- 3865; Jamestown: 661-8940; or Mayville: 753-4471.