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Medicare Madness Series Planned For Mid-March

Question: I have heard you do a program in March on Medicare. I am turning 65 this year and want to come. What is it about? When is it?

Answer: I sometimes joke that I must have “Medicare” typed across my forehead. I am asked Medicare questions wherever I go. I love that about my job. I got this question twice the other day, once at the bank and once at the grocery store. So, here is the answer for you and others who may be interested.

Senior Life Matters staff are always trying to provide educational opportunities for those who are eager to learn about Medicare and many other topics as well. In 2019, we are again looking to continue what we call March Medicare Madness. This is a take-off of the basketball hype that happens in March. Trust me we are not playing basketball! What we will be doing is talking about Medicare, all its parts and the options related to each part.

The March Medicare Madness is a three-part series. This series of talks are on three different but related topics, revolving around Medicare. The topic of Medicare is pretty broad with LOTS of different issues related to it. This three-part series is designed to give more in-depth information on three different nights.

The dates of these talks are March 12, 14, and 19. Each of these evening programs will cover Medicare and the products that go with Medicare. All of the talks are held in Christ Chapel on the Lutheran Campus at 715 Falconer St., Jamestown. They all begin at 6 p.m. They are all free, and we ask that you make a reservation if you would like to attend. Those reservations can be made by calling 720-9122. You can also make a reservation on the website at lutheran-jamestown.org.

The March 12 discussion will focus on Original Medicare A & B as well as Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Benefit). This talk will focus on what the rules are regarding these three Medicare benefits, how they differ, how they are similar and what they cover. This evening is designed to help you understand what Original Medicare is, what Medicare covers, and how you sign up for it.

The March 14 discussion will focus on Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) and NYS EPIC. This type of Medigap insurance works with Original Medicare. The evening will be spent talking about the type of plans available, how the plans work, benefits, & how much they cost. The EPIC portion of the evening will be about what EPIC is, who qualifies and how it works. EPIC can be used as secondary Prescription Drug Coverage for NYS residents who qualify.

The March 19 discussion will be about Medicare Advantage Plans. These are insurance products that cover your Medicare services and sometimes medications in a different way from Original Medicare. There are a number of different types of Medicare Advantage Plans. We will be talking about those different types, the companies that sell them, benefits related to costs, and the strengths and weaknesses of the different types.

This three-part series is a way of giving our attendees in-depth information about the many Medicare options they have available. One of the things I love about working in this part of the country is that our older citizens (anyone over the age of 60) are very informed. I am so proud of our population for the work they put into learning about their options and alternatives. That says a lot about our region of the world. You research, you read, you listen and work to become a well-informed population. This is not just about Medicare, it is about everything related to health insurance and health care coverage. You attend programs, write letters, call on the phone and voice your concerns and issues of interest. That makes working with you a little easier. You have already done some research and now have some different questions.

This doesn’t mean that those of you who don’t know anything about Medicare should not attend. This program is useful for you as well. This series is meant to be a foundation of learning about Medicare. If you are getting close to being eligible for Medicare or helping someone with Medicare, these programs could help a lot with your situation.

Make your reservation at 720-9122 or at lutheran-jamestown.org. I look forward to seeing you on any or all of the nights that sound interesting to you.

To contact Janell Sluga, GCMC with questions or concerns, please call 720-9797 or e-mail her at janells@lutheran-jamestown.org.

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