By: Carol Carter | Category: Health & Fitness | Issue: November 2020
Eileen Bradshaw, CEO, Life Senior Services.
The Medicare Open Enrollment Period opens October 15 and runs through December 7, and the Medicare Assistance Program (MAP) at LIFE Senior Services is ready. MAP has been modified and expanded in response to COVID-19, offering additional health precautions and more convenient appointment options for Medicare beneficiaries.
Besides the traditional face-to-face Part D appointments, MAP has increased its capacity for telephone appointments as well as offering appointments via Zoom. Additionally, MAP on the MOVE has added four additional clinics in midtown and north Tulsa, Broken Arrow and Owasso, to augment the original clinic at LIFE Senior Services’ central office at 5950 East 31st Street. Masks are required for all face-to-face appointments, and social distancing guidelines are being followed.
According to LIFE President and CEO Eileen Bradshaw, “We initially made these changes out of concern for the safety of staff, volunteers and the beneficiaries who come to the Part D clinics. However, we are pleased that this model also allows us to serve more Medicare beneficiaries closer to their homes. In previous years, people have traveled from all over northeast Oklahoma for this assistance. Now many of those won’t have to travel as far to get the help they need.”
MAP’s Part D Clinics offer free, personalized and unbiased help in comparing, selecting and enrolling in a Part D plan. According to Channing Rutherford, supervisor of MAP at LIFE, “Using the Medicare website, we work one-on-one with beneficiaries, helping them find the Part D plan that best fits their individual prescription and budget needs. We can help ensure that they are getting the best coverage for their money.”
“Even if beneficiaries have been satisfied with their current Part D plan, the changes each year in plan premiums, co-pays, deductibles and drug formularies make it critically important for beneficiaries to take a fresh look at their coverage options for 2021,” Rutherford says.
Unfortunately, most beneficiaries don’t take time to review their drug coverage – and many will pay significantly more than necessary next year because they are tied to a plan that no longer fits their specific prescription needs.
Last year, MAP served 1,821 beneficiaries and 69% of them either enrolled in Part D for the first time or changed plans, saving an average of $1,530 per person. Altogether, MAP helped beneficiaries save more than $1.9 million on their total prescription drug costs for 2020.
Appointments for Part D assistance are required and can be made by calling MAP at LIFE Senior Services at (918) 664-9000, ext. 1189.
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