JABA Offering Help to Those Facing Medicare Coverage Changes
Prescription drug coverage under Medicare - called Part D - can be confusing. There are 28 insurance plans to consider. The most expensive plan is not always the best and the difference in cost may mean thousands of dollars.
But a central Virginia organization is helping sort through the maze. Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) offers individualized help.
Besides the costs of premiums, hidden drug costs may trap some people. And though open enrollment begins in October, JABA is looking for volunteers to help participants Thursday.
After Marian Quigley became disabled, she thought she chose the right prescription coverage under Medicare. But despite her thorough review of each plan, the cost of her prescriptions jumped.
"That price went from $45 to $700 a month. I really can't afford," said Marian Quigley, JABA volunteer.
Faced with an increase of about $7,000 per year, Quigley went to JABA. They helped her appeal and reverse the cost within weeks. JABA financial wellness specialist Judy Robinson says dramatic, unexpected costs are common.
"You can be paying a lot for your premium and still not have very good coverage," said Robinson.
In 2013, the average amount of premium from Medicare Part D ranged from $15 to $111.
JABA offers walk-in help for seniors and anyone who qualifies for Medicare. The open period of enrollment is October 15 to December 7.
"It's really important for people to review their plans every year and not just let open enrollment creep up on them," said Robinson.
JABA needs volunteers who want to help seniors and the disabled community.
"When it comes down to someone deciding to buy their prescriptions or get enough food for the month, then it really makes a difference in people's lives," said Robinson.
Quigley says the Medicare guidance changed her life.
"It saves me $650 a month for year - that's a lot of money. It brought me to volunteering here to be honest," said Quigley.
JABA says volunteer training is offered in person and online.
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