REDMOND, Ore. -

More than 36,400 residents in Crook, Deschutes, & Jefferson Counties are currently eligible for or enrolled in Medicare, with close to an additional 4,000 residents estimated to be turning 65 years of age in 2013. 

On June 11 & 12, 2013 the state Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) Program Field Officer Cynthia Hylton and Donna Delikat will instruct interested persons on the latest information about  Medicare and prepare them to assist others in enrolling in and updating their Medicare insurance plans. This conference will be held at the Redmond Senior Center.

“Citizens should be informed well in advance of their 65th birthday so they can begin planning,” said Pamela Norr, Executive Officer of Central Oregon Council On Aging (COCOA) the area sponsor for Medicare enrollment. “Many people do not have a clear understanding of how Medicare works or how their insurance will change once on Medicare.  The goal is to answer questions and send people away with knowledge about their options.”

Every year, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans change, affecting coverage. “Annual Enrollment is October 15 – December 7, and every year our tri- County Medicare Part D recipients should also review their plan to ensure it is meeting their needs,” Norr added.

Topics covered at this 1 and ½ day workshop include:

  • Medicare timelines and how to avoid penalties
  • Medicare starts at 65, no matter when you retire or begin Social Security
  • How to shop every year for the best Medicare drug plan
  • How to access Preventive benefits
  • How you may become a SHIBA Certified Medicare Enrollment/Benefits Counselor 

Community Benefits from Workshop

The class will provide opportunities for those who receive Medicare, or will soon be eligible, to have their questions answered. Caregivers, insurance agents, and other professionals who work with Medicare recipients will also benefit from attending.

“People who take this class will get tips about Medicare that may help them avoid problems later,” Hylton said. “Also, anyone who is looking for a meaningful volunteer opportunity can attend to see if helping others with Medicare is something they want to pursue.”

To register for the Medicare Recruitment workshop, call the Bend office of COCOA at 541-678-5483. Registration in advance for this special conference is required.

SHIBA is part of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more formation, visit SHIBA at www.oregonshiba.org or the department at www.dcbs.oregon.gov.