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Presentations Help Novi Residents Understand Medicare and Save Money

The Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B) Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) is holding two presentations at the Novi Library this spring to help people understand their Medicare benefits and save money. “Ten Things You Need to Know About Medicare” is happening on Thursday, March 8 from 1 to 3 p.m., and “Getting Help Paying for Prescription Drugs” is being held on Thursday, April 12 from 1 to 3 p.m.

MMAP is a  program of the Area Agency on Aging 1-B (AAA 1-B), a nonprofit that helps seniors, adults with disabilities and family caregivers in a six-county region of southeast Michigan that includes Oakland County. MMAP is a federally and state funded program that provides free and unbiased guidance and assistance with Medicare and Medicaid.

Shari Smith, manager of the AAA 1-B MMAP program, said that workshops like these help make sure seniors understand their benefits and are informed and empowered health care consumers. “There’s a lot to know,” she explained. “We hold these presentations so beneficiaries can save money and make better decisions about their health care dollars.”

The two-hour “Ten Things You Need to Know About Medicare” workshop is designed to walk people through the basics of Medicare and help them get the most out of their benefits. The program will cover Medicare hospital and medical insurance (Parts A and B), Medigap insurance plans, Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) and Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

“It’s a big picture overview,” said Smith. “If you’re going to be signing up for Medicare in the next six months or so, and you’re wondering how this all works, this class is definitely for you. You’ll learn a lot and feel better prepared to make decisions regarding your benefits.”

The “Getting Help Paying for Prescription Drugs” focuses on some of the programs that can help beneficiaries with drug costs. These might be government programs to help low-income Medicare beneficiaries, programs offered by pharmaceutical companies or patient assistance programs offered by non-profit organizations.

“Many beneficiaries can find drug costs overwhelming,” said Smith. Between premiums, co-pays and the doughnut hole, it can get tough. But there are resources out there that can help provide some relief. The workshop will help you understand what help might be available and connect to those programs and organizations.”

The Novi Library is located at 45255 W. 10 Mile Road in Novi. There is no cost for either workshop, but pre-registration is required. Registrations can be made by calling the City of Novi Older Adult Services Office at (248) 347-0414.

Volunteer MMAP counselors are also available for one-on-one counseling by phone. MMAP counselors can answer questions, help troubleshoot problems and help beneficiaries understand their coverage and plan choices. All services are free. MMAP can be reached from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at (800) 803-7174.

Volunteer MMAP counselors are also available to meet in person with beneficiaries at the Novi Older Adult Services Meadowbrook Activities Center. Appointments can be made by calling the Novi Adult Services Office at (248) 347-0414.