Changes For OFA Health Insurance Counseling Appointments

So for most of you, Medicare’s Annual Open Enrollment is still looking like it’s far away. Due to COVID-19, the Office for Aging’s Health Insurance, Information and Assistance program (HIICAP) is looking at Open Enrollment now and planning for how we should assist our clients from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, 2020. Time seems to fly by so quickly and the need for health insurance counseling continues to be in big demand each year. This year’s counseling process will be a little bit different. Our HIICAP counselors will be providing counseling via telephone only. In order for the Office for Aging to accommodate as many clients as possible, we are asking that all individuals interested in scheduling a phone counseling call should contact our OFA’s NY Connects Helpline. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we want all of our clients to remain safe and will do our best to continue to provide unbiased information about the health insurance options available for Medicare beneficiaries for the upcoming 2021 year. For those of us who are counselors, this is a challenge as well as a little bit sad. We love to see our clients each year, it is like a homecoming and we so enjoy assisting the families of Chautauqua County. We are all dedicated here at the Office for Aging to continue to provide the best possible service and support to our seniors of Chautauqua County.

Once you have contacted the NY Connects Helpline, we will contact you to set up an appointment time for your counseling call. You will be sent some paperwork that needs to be completed IN ADVANCE of your appointment call with your HIICAP Counselor. Each OFA Outreach office (Jamestown, Dunkirk, Mayville) will have a locked drop off box for you to either mail your paperwork back to us or drop it off at one of our offices at your convenience.

Once your information is received, you will be notified and reminded of your appointment via phone call from the designated Outreach office you will be assigned to.

For those individuals who are comfortable with navigating the internet, we encourage you to begin looking at www.medicare.gov beginning October 1, 2020 when the new plans for 2021 become available. Many of you can actually enroll yourselves or your loved one into plans beginning October 15th. If you are in need of assistance, however, we ask that you don’t wait to contact our NY Connects helpline now. There will be limited slots available this year. We look forward to hearing your voice!

Chautauqua County Office for Aging’s NY Connects Helpline:

Jamestown: 716.661.7582

Dunkirk: 716.363.4582

Mayville: 716.753.4582


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