By Christina Knoell
Special to The SUN
Medicare is complicated. It is important that you know your rights, options, deadlines, possible penalties and where to find the information you need.
Did you know that assistance is available in Pagosa Springs through the nationwide State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)?
Trained and certified Medicare counselors are available by appointment to guide you when dealing with Medicare enrollment, questions and problems. Medicare help has been available in Archuleta County at the Senior Center for more than 12 years. The San Juan Basin Area Agency on Aging (AAA) is the sponsoring agency for free Medicare counseling services at the Senior Center located in the Community Center. Please call the Area Agency Aging at 264-0501, ext. 2, to make an appointment.
Medicare eligibility begins at age 65. Three months before your birth month, you can enroll in Medicare and start making decisions about your options. Some of the things you need to consider are:
• Are you eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B? Do you need both?
• Do you have a retirement plan that will work with Medicare?
• Do you want a Medicare supplement (also called Medigap)?
• Would you prefer coverage through a Medicare Advantage plan or cost plan? Do you want a Part D drug plan? If so, which plan would work best for you? This varies depending on drugs you take.