Medicare PartD – help is available for prescription costs
by Lydia EckerLMSW, Selfhelp Community Services for WHICOA
‘Tis the season, again, for the Medicare Part D prescription program.
Do you find your eyes glazing over trying to figure out the process? Well, you are not alone! To change your present prescription plan or enroll for the first time, there’s help out there for you. (Some locations are listed below)
If you have Medicare, Part A or B, you are eligible to enroll in a Part D Plan to help with prescription costs. The window of opportunity is Nov. 15 through Dec. 31.
Whether you have someone help you or try it on your own, you need to prepare yourself with certain information.
1. List of all prescription medications, including your full name, dosage, and how often you take it. Some medicines have different combinations, so it is very important that you copy the name of your medication carefully from the container.
2. Medicare card, your ID number will be followed by a letter.
You will also need the enrollment date for Part A and/or Part B which is found on your card in the lower right corner.
3. Birth date
4. Zip Code
5. Preferred Pharmacy (optional)
Help is available by telephone to Medicare (1-800-Medicare) or through the Internet, www.Medicare.gov. You can also get personal help in the neighborhood.
But be sure that you approach them. There has been some word out of Kansas that there is a new scam afoot. Seniors have been receiving phone calls from people claiming to be from Medicare. They request your personal information, Medicare number, bank account and credit card numbers, and claim they’re asking in order to protect your present health insurance or enroll you in Medicare Part D for 2010. This is BOGUS – just another twist to steal your identity. They can be very clever, so be mindful. Medicare never calls you!
Remember, each Part D prescription plan is a custom-made fit. That is, the plan for your spouse or friend may work for their prescriptions but not necessarily for yours. So everyone must search using his/her own prescriptions. Good luck.
Here are some places where you can get help:
STAR Senior Center
650 W. 187th St
YM-YWHA of Washington Heights & Inwood
54 Nagle Ave
Isabella Senior Resource Center
Seniors Helping Seniors
600 W. 168th St
Allen Hospital -Health Outreach
Thursdays 10-12 PM by appointment
The Manhattan Times is the bilingual newspaper of Washington Heights and Inwood.