Dauphin County to offer free Medicare open enrollment counseling sessions

HARRISBURG, PA (October 8, 2019) – To help Medicare enrollees select plans that best fit their needs, Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III and the county’s Area Agency on Aging will host free Medicare open enrollment counseling sessions at several convenient locations throughout the county.

“We’ve received so many calls and requests for help last year that we’ve decided to expand the APPRISE program,” said Hartwick, who oversees the county Area Agency on Aging. “Now is the time to review your Medicare benefit information and have all your questions about enrollment answered.”

The Medicare annual open enrollment period will begin on October 15 and close on December 7, 2019. During this time, Medicare beneficiaries should review their coverage and make adjustments, if necessary. Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans can change their benefits, costs and coverage every year. 

The sessions are conducted by APPRISE program counselors, who are trained to help Medicare participants with the following:

  • Review current coverage,
  • Compare plans with all available options,
  • Search for plans online that meet specific prescription and medical needs,
  • Give easy-to-understand answers to questions about Medicare,
  • Screening and applying beneficiaries for cost savings programs, and
  • Help enroll in a plan online.

Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging’s APPRISE is a local affiliate of the state Department of Aging’s program, the designated State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in Pennsylvania.  The APPRISE Program provides direct, local assistance to Medicare beneficiaries through one-on-one, counseling sessions (both in-person and over the phone), presentations, and public education programs. 

Dauphin County APPRISE counselors will hold the following counseling sessions:

Millersburg Senior Center, 109 Edward Drive, Millersburg

  • October 30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • November 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

East Shore Area Library, Lower Level, 4501 Ethel St., Harrisburg

  • November 4 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mohler Senior Center, 25 Hope Drive, Hershey

  • October 24 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • November 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • November 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rutherford House Senior Center, 3300 Parkview Lane, Harrisburg

  • October 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • November 21 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
  • December 2 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Case Management Unit, 1100 S. Cameron St., Harrisburg

  • November 1 (private) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Northern Dauphin Human Services, 295 State Rd., Elizabethville

  • October 21 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • November 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rattling Creek Apartments, 15 South Second St., Lykens

  • November 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To schedule an appointment at one of these sessions, or to get advice by phone, call the Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging at 717-780-6130.

“If you have any questions about Medicare, please call and schedule a meeting with an APPRISE counselor,” said Haste.  “These well-trained volunteers can help you navigate the enrollment process.” 

Beneficiaries may also use online tools available at www.medicare.gov (the Medicare Plan Finder) to review options for 2020, compare costs and see coverage options by entering the required information, current prescriptions and pharmacy preference.

“Medicare plans can change from year to year,” said Pries. “Don’t miss this opportunity to get assistance with selecting the best plan for you and your family.”

APPRISE is a free health insurance counseling program designed to help Pennsylvanians with Medicare.  Counselors are specially trained volunteers who can answer questions and provide objective, easy-to-understand information about Medicare, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Medicaid, and Long-Term Care Insurance.  Questions and requests to meet with APPRISE counselors may also be directed to the statewide, toll-free line 1-800-783-7067.