2008-12-11 / Local & State

Medicare Part D Open For Enrollment

Enrollment ends December 31

Area senior citizens wanting to enroll in Medicare Part D or change their current provider still have until the conclusion of December, according to the executive director of the tri-county based Area Agency on Aging.

Alan Smith, who heads the Area Agency on Aging in Fulton County as well as neighboring Huntingdon and Bedford counties, informed the "News" that agency officials have been working diligently to inform Medicare beneficiaries of the ins-and-outs of the enrollment process.

The most prominent concern for many older persons, Smith said, is the coverage gap also commonly referred to as the "doughnut hole." "The response has been a call for advocacy on shrinking the size of the doughnut hole, and we will continue the advocacy," added Smith.

"It is important to note that as of the end of October there were 2,850 Medicare beneficiaries in Fulton County, which include individuals under the age of 65 who are receiving Social Security disability, with 2,353 having Part D coverage," Smith stated.

The end result at this time is 500 older and disabled individuals who are not enrolled in a plan based on a variety of possible reasons ranging from price, not taking medications, confusion surrounding the various options and not knowing how to enroll.

Any area resident needing additional information regarding the Medicare Part D plan or wanting assistance with enrollment is urged to contact the Mc- Connellsburg office of the Area Agency on Aging by calling 717- 485-5151.

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