On Wednesday, Oct. 2 the Ashe County Senior Center will host an Open Enrollment and Health Fair, to help provide information to those on Medicare about the new changes.
“We will be discussing some of the different things to look for when selecting a plan,” said Louise Caudill, Ashe County coordinator for the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). “We will possibly have the new list for drug plans in 2014 and somebody will be there to talk about getting help with low income subsidies.”
The fair, running from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., will go through the different changes to the Medicare program as well as provide other activities including free blood pressure checks and information from area health centers and pharmacies.
“People need to know if the plan they are currently on is the plan they can stay with,” Caudill said. “We are agents that primarily help people find the right plans.”
Open enrollment dates will take place from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. If people don’t apply during these dates, Caudill said they would have to wait until next year.
Guidelines for premiums and medication have changed this year as part of the Affordable Care Act.
Plans vary from state to state when it comes to advantage plans and supplements. SHIIP is the only agency in Ashe County that offers free assistance when it comes to Medicare.
Caudill said those who don’t change their plans during open enrollment will be stuck with the plan they have now, regardless of what changes in cost occur. Changes in premium and deductible costs can happen from year to year.
“We hope people will come by and check us out and will get appointments during open enrollment to get their drug plans checked,” she said.
Door prizes will be given and winners will not have to be present to win. For more information, call the senior center at 336-246-4347.