Department of Aging offering free counseling on Medicare Options

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Aging (IDoA) will be offering free counseling assistance to educate the public on Medicare options in accordance with the Medicare open enrollment period.

Medicare Open Enrollment started on Thursday, October 15 and will run through December 7. The public can shop for a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan or a Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) for 2016 during this period.

According to SHIP Director Sandy Leith, 1,000 of their certified counselors will be assisting Medicare beneficiaries every day.

SHIP is a year round program that helps seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare to be aware of their options that can help save them money. The program is not affiliated with any insurance company, and counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance.

Leith says anyone who needs help making sense of their choices should call and make an appointment with a counselor.

“It is very important to make sure that your Medicare is working properly for you and that you have the most cost effective option available where you live,” Leith adds.

Those interested in comparing 2016 drug and health plans to their current plans and learning more about Medicare can visit the federal website here. Phone calls should be directed to 1-800-633-4227.

SHIP counselors can be contacted on weekdays from 8:30 AM – 5 PM by calling 1-800-252-8966. Additional information about SHIP, including SHIP locations, is available by viewing the website here.

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