Oswego County Public Information Office, 46 East Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126

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June 30, 2006

Office for the Aging Offers Reminders to Medicare Recipients

OSWEGO -- The initial enrollment period for the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage has come and gone, and the Oswego County Office for the Aging is reminding residents that its staff is still available to assist seniors with questions about prescription drug coverage, changes in policies, penalties that may apply when switching Medicare policies, and similar issues.

Sara Sunday, aging services specialist for the Office for the Aging, said people may switch plans, or enroll as new members, during November and December.

“There is an enrollment period every year between Nov. 15 and Dec. 31. Coverage begins Jan. 1 of the following year,” said Sunday. “If you have New York State EPIC and did not join a Medicare Part D prescription plan, you can join a plan during the annual enrollment period without penalty. However, those who did not have a credible insurance plan, who did not enroll before May 15, will be penalized if they choose to enroll during the next enrollment period.”

Sunday said seniors may be continue to be contacted by insurance representatives who are selling prescription drug coverage. She offers these suggestions to those who have questions or aren’t sure if they need additional coverage.

Insurance salespeople cannot come to your house unannounced to try and sell you policies. They need to be invited. Invitations are solicited over the phone or you may fill out a card requesting more information.

If an insurance salesperson is pressuring you to purchase insurance that you are unsure of, or if you have questions about their authenticity, call the Office for the Aging. The staff can help you sort out the pros and cons to see if the policy is right for you.

Do not give out personal information over the phone. This includes date of birth, social security number, Medicare ID number, or banking account numbers. If you are interested in their product, request information to be sent to you for review prior to enrolling.

To speak to an aging services specialist, call the Oswego County Office for the Aging weekdays at 349-3484 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3484, or visit the office at 70 Bunner St., Oswego.

For information about social security or Medicare benefits, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213; or Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

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