Every day, state Medicare experts hear from people who missed a Medicare deadline, face a penalty or paid more for health or drug insurance than they should have.
“People call and say nobody told me about this deadline or that my neighbor’s drug plan isn’t the best for me,” said Carol Barnard, Medicare trainer for the state’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) program. “That’s why we offer classes that explain Medicare and answer typical Medicare questions.”
SHIBA is a state-federal program that trains a network of volunteers to offer free, unbiased counseling to Oregonians with Medicare. State staff will visit Medford, Eagle Point, and Ashland on May 25 and 26 to offer a free, two-hour class on the ABC & Ds of Medicare. The class is open to anyone, including people new to Medicare. More than 38,000 people in Jackson County have Medicare.
The Eagle Point class will be held May 25, in Eagle Point at the library, from 9-11 a.m. People in Medicare or soon to be in Medicare, family members, caregivers, insurance agents and other professionals who work with Medicare recipients should plan to participate.
To register call 541-857-7780. For help with Medicare, call SHIba at 1-800-722-4134.
SHIBA trains and supports volunteers who want to help people with Medicare in their community. Learn more by
attending this class or by calling SHIBA.
Call for the time and location of classes in Medford and Ashland.
At the classes, attendees will learn about key deadlines and receive helpful tips, such as:
• a need to go to the Social Security office to sign up for Medicare because not everyone automatically gets a Medicare card in the mail. •deadlines to sign up for Part B (doctor bills) and Part D (prescription drugs) are different.
•help paying for Medicare’s prescription drug coverage or for my Part B expenses.
•office to talk to about whether I need Part B at this time is Social Security and only Social Security and I should document my call.
• checking every year to see if my Medicare prescription drug plan is raising prices or dropping any of my prescriptions from those it covers, or if there is a better plan for me.
“People who take this class will get tips about Medicare that may help them avoid problems later,” Barnard said. “Also, anyone who is looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity can take the class to see if helping others with Medicare is something they want to pursue.”