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O’Neill Center aids with Medicare

The best time to join a Medicare health or drug plan is when you first get Medicare. Signing up when you’re first eligible can help you avoid paying a lifetime Part D late enrollment penalty. However, if you miss your first chance, Medicare’s annual fall Open Enrollment Period starts October 15 and runs through December 7. During this time each year, you can also drop or switch your plan coverage.

The Medicare counseling service offered at The O’Neill Center in Marietta involves assisting seniors in determining Part D plans, Advantage plans, Medicare supplemental plans, Low Income Subsidy (Extra Help) and billing issues. Trained staff will obtain your Medicare information and create a comparison chart showing what plans Medicare determined were best for you based on information you provided. Staff are trained through the Ohio Department of Insurance’s senior health insurance information program, otherwise known as OSHIIP.

Some Medicare recipients may be eligible for a program through Medicare called Low Income Subsidy or Extra Help, which assists older adults by paying for your Part D or Advantage plan. O’Neill Center staff are available to complete online applications to assist with enrollment into these programs. If you are found eligible you may not need to pay a premium for the Part D or drug portion of your Advantage Plan.

Staff can also assist in determining what Medicare supplemental plan will work for your personal circumstances. Trained staff take time to explain each of these programs to you and help you determine what type of plan works for you, however our staff cannot choose the plan for you, only offer tools so you can make an informed decision.

Medicare Paperwork assistance is also offered. Our dedicated staff at The O’Neill Center will sit down with you and sort out bills and help you determine what you are responsible to pay for based on the coverage you have. If the amount you owe will cause you financial hardship we will attempt to find alternate pay sources.

To make an appointment for Medicare counseling or to find out about the other social service programs offered by The O’Neill Center, call 740-373-3914, or visit our website atoneillcenter.com.

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