Assistance available for Medicare enrollment

FORTVILLE — Butler University has partnered with a local pharmacy to help patients enroll in Medicare Part D.

A pharmacy student from Butler University will be available on three dates to help eligible patients enroll in the healthcare program.

From 10 a.m. to noon Friday, noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday and 2 to 4 p.m. Nov. 14, Brandan Pearsall will be at the Fortville-Vernon Township Public Library, 625 E. Broadway St., Fortville, said Eric Garst, owner of Garst RX in Fortville, which is sponsoring the events.

Medicare Part D is a federal program subsidizing the costs of prescription drugs and insurance premiums for Medicare beneficiaries, according to the Centers for Medicare Services website.

Garst RX has offered enrollment assistance to its patients at 325 S. Main St., Fortville, for several years, Garst said, but this is the first time sessions are being offered at the nearby library.

“The process of enrolling for Medicare is so confusing for our older residents,” he said.

The Indiana Department of Insurance also offers Medicare enrollment assistance for the next month.

The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (open enrollment) happens every year from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Insurance. This is the one time of year when all people with Medicare can make changes to their Medicare Advantage health and prescription drug plans for the next year.

It is important for Medicare beneficiaries to pay close attention to the mail they receive in the fall. Enrollees might receive several important letters from their current insurance company, Social Security, and Medicare about any changes to their current coverage. Those who purchase a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan or switch plans during the annual enrollment period, will see the changes Jan. 1.

Medicare beneficiaries with income less than $1,850 per month and limited assets might qualify for programs that help to pay for Part B monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Some programs even help to pay for prescriptions.

Those with Medicare questions may call the helpline at 1-800-452-4800 or the TDD line for the hearing impaired at 1-866-846-0139. Medicare help is available online at Medicare.IN.gov.

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Rorye Hatcher is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at ​317-477-3211 or rhatcher@greenfieldreporter.com.