Sessions set in Duluth on federal health servicesPeople are hungry for assistance when it comes to getting professional help navigating the sometimes Byzantine maze of federal health services. For example, one-on-one counseling sessions announced in a news release on Thursday for Oct. 9 in Duluth were filled by Friday morning.
By: John Lundy, Duluth News Tribune
People are hungry for assistance when it comes to getting professional help navigating the sometimes Byzantine maze of federal health services.
For example, one-on-one counseling sessions announced in a news release on Thursday for Oct. 9 in Duluth were filled by Friday morning.
“They fill up so fast, especially during annual enrollment,” said Marjori Bottila, who works for the Arrowhead Area Agency on Aging.
The annual open enrollment period for Medicare, which provides health insurance beginning at age 65, begins Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7. During open enrollment, those already on Medicare can review their current coverage and make changes, if they’d like. Those who are satisfied with their current coverage don’t have to do anything, the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reminded consumers in a statement.
Openings remain for appointments on Oct. 23, Bottila said. The help, available both for current enrollees and people nearing Medicare age, is offered by Senior LinkAge Line. It was set up by the Minnesota Board of Aging as a “one-stop shop” for senior citizens seeking answers on a variety of issues. Bottila coordinates Senior LinkAge Line in Northeastern Minnesota.
Part of the reason the sessions fill up so quickly is that there aren’t many openings. An hour is allotted for each appointment, and they are only scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, Bottila said. That means only three individuals or couples are seen per day.
The consultations take place in the first-floor conference room of the
Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, 221 W. First St., in Duluth. The Area Agency on Aging is part of the Regional Development Commission.
Appointments can be made by calling Senior LinkAge Line at (800)
Two such sessions are offered each month, Bottila said, and additional days probably will be added in November because of heavy demand. Additional hours can be added during scheduled days as well.
Among topics that could arise:
“It’s business as usual for Medicare consumers,” Bottila said. “They
shouldn’t worry about anything.”