QUESTION: If I remember correctly, it is about this time of year that Medicare has its annual open enrollment. Can you provide the dates?
ANSWER: Medicare annual open enrollment will start Oct. 15 and run through Dec. 7.
During this period, you can change the coverage you have from Medicare-fee-for-service (also known as Original Medicare) to a Senior Advantage Plan or from a Senior Advantage Plan to Medicare-fee-for-service or from one Senior Advantage Plan to another Senior Advantage Plan.
This is the time when you should also review your Medicare Part D — Prescription Drug Coverage Plan. Each year, insurance companies change, formularies change and co-pays, deductibles and monthly premiums change, and your needs may also change. This annual open enrollment period is the time for you to review your current coverage and compare it to what will be available in the coming year.
This review should be done every year to ensure you have the best coverage for the least amount of money.
Through the period of open enrollment, there will be seminars and one-stop-shops scheduled throughout the county. These seminars will review Medicare coverage in general and answer any questions attendees may have. The seminars will also provide information, as it becomes available, about any changes that will take place in 2017.
Those who want assistance with comparing their Part D plans with those plans that will be available in 2017 should be prepared to complete a form showing their prescription drugs, the size of the dosage of those drugs and how often those drugs are taken. Instructions about how those forms should be handled will be given at the meeting.
At the one-stop-shops, individual counseling will be available to review the Part D computer printouts and assist with enrollment in those plans. Other questions about health care coverage will be answered.
Seminars and one-stop-shops are open to the public and are usually held at senior centers or the Area Agency on Aging offices in Ventura.
In the weeks to come, I will try to provide information on these events about a week or two in advance of their scheduled dates. Reservations at any of these meetings are highly recommended.
Watch here for a seminar and a one-stop-shop near you.
QUESTION: A friend of mine just told me she attended several presentations of interest to seniors at the Westlake Village Civic Center. Is this an ongoing offering and if so can you shed any light?
ANSWER: Your friend is right on the mark. Senior Concerns in cooperation with the city of Westlake Village present a monthly seminar at the Westlake Village Civic Center.
The series is known as “Senior Issues” and scheduled from 1:30-3 p.m. on the third Wednesday of every month except August, December and January.
These seminars are free and no reservations are required. For more information, call the Senior Concerns Advocate’s office at 495-6250 or Westlake Village City Hall at 818-706-1613.
Medicare 2017 seminars
Friday: 12:30-2 p.m. at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 381-2744 for reservations.
Oct. 14: 1:30-3 p.m. at Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave., Moorpark. Call 517-6261 for reservations.
Oct. 19: 1:30-3 p.m. at the Westlake Village Civic Center, 31200 E. Oak Crest Drive in Westlake Village. Call 495-6250 for reservations and information.
Saturday: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., “Under the Big Top” fundraiser for the Young and Brave Foundation at Cypress Place Senior Living, 1200 Cypress Point Lane in Ventura. Call 650-8000 for information. It’s a great event for the entire family.
Oct. 13: 10 a.m., Camarillo community meeting about “Neighbors Together” — a new concept for aging in place, sponsored by the Camarillo Council on Aging, in the City Council chambers, 601 Carmen Drive in Camarillo.
Oct. 16: 2 p.m., Julie Tumamait presents “From Acorns to Tomols” the life and times of the Chumash, at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $5 and available at the center.
Oct. 19: 10:30 a.m. to noon, seminar “Will You Pass Your Next Driving Test?” will be held at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks. Call 381-2744 for reservations.
Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns. The advocates are at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks. Call 495-6250 or email email@example.com (please include your telephone number). You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.