Over 600 area senior citizens and individuals with disability took advantage of free face-to-face counseling services offered by APPRISE program volunteers and staff from the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging (FCAAA).
“Our APPRISE program has helped a lot of people, but it is still underutilized,” said Traci Kline, Director of the Franklin County Area Agency on Aging.
Program volunteers gave 441.5 hours and saved Franklin County residents receiving Medicare a total of $494,854.78 on 2020 premiums and medication coverage during the Medicare Open Enrollment period, held annually from mid-October until the first week in December. Open Enrollment is the one time of year that individuals on Medicare may change their prescription coverage under “Medicare Part D.”
The federally funded APPRISE program is a free, objective, and expert Medicare Counseling program provided by the Pennsylvania State Health Insurance Assistance Program managed by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging. Staff and volunteer counselors, trained by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, work with individuals to determine their health care requirements and match them up with Medicare supplemental and Medigap coverage that meets their needs and budget. Franklin County has five trained volunteers and two trained staff members who:
- Educate about Medicare, Parts A, B and D
- Help beneficiaries understand Parts A and B
- Help individuals make informed choices about Medicare coverage options, Medigap policies and Medicare Advantage Plans
- Explain financial assistance programs that may be available to help pay for Medicare premiums, deductible and co-pays, as well as prescription drug needs
- Understand and assist with the Medicare appeal process
- Understand benefits under Long-Term Care policies
- Offer presentations on Medicare to groups and individuals and hold Medicare 101 classes
- Provide screening to identify eligibility for other programs
Medicare 101 classes help individuals to understand the program and what they have to do to register. Residents are encouraged to contact the FCAAA office 3-5 months before turning 65 to register for a Medicare 101 class. The next Medicare 101 classes are scheduled for January 28th at 6:30pm and, February 11th at 2pm, and February 25th at 6:30pm in Chambersburg.
Call Amber Monskie at 717-263-2153 for more information about the program, to schedule an appointment, register for a Medicare 101 class, or to become a volunteer.
FCAAA thanks APPRISE volunteers for their hours and dedication to the program.