Medicare enrollment assistance available

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 5, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

Many local senior citizens have found themselves confused by the Medicare Part D program, which has a deadline for enrollment of May 15.

Even those who may have a grasp on the particulars may not have access to a computer.

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But, help is available.

From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 13 assistance will be provided at the Computer Lab at Wallace Community College-Selma for people of any age who have Medicare and for people over age 55 who do not have Medicaid or Medicare.

During the session, students in the college’s nursing program will be on hand to assist those who need help in enrolling.

“There are 18 companies in Alabama that provide Medicare Part D for pharmaceutical assistance,” said Liz Hammond of Healthcare Compensation Solutions. “And there are 41 different plans.”

Hammond works as a consultant on the subject of Medicaid eligibility.

“We hope we’re going to provide a good service to the seniors of this area,” said Cindy Yeager of college’s School of Nursing.

Those who attend the session are asked to bring their Medicare care if they have one, their date of birth, address and income information, as well as a complete list of prescriptions, including the number of milligrams and how many of each medication is taken each day.

“This is one of the last shots we’ll have locally where people can come get answers to their questions,” Hammond said. “It’s not just for Selma residents – it’s for anyone from the surrounding areas.”

Hammond expressed her thanks to Wallace Community College and the nursing students “who have stepped up to the plate and are so willing to do what’s necessary to help these folks.”

If you cannot attend the event, you can also get help by telephone. If you are over age 55, do not have Medicare, Medicaid or other prescription drug coverage, and have income below $20,000 per year (one person per household), or $26,000 per year (two-person household), you can telephone the Alabama-Tombigbee Regional Commission Senior Rx Program.

Residents of Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Dallas, Marengo, Monroe, Perry, Sumter, Washington and Wilcox counties can call toll free 1-888-617-0500.

The event is sponsored by the Alabama-Tombigbee Commission Area Agency on Aging, Wallace Community College School of Nursing and the Computer Lab, as well as Healthcare Compensation Solutions. There will also be a representative from the State Health Insurance Program.