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Miss. Seniors are Being Bombarded with Prescription Coverage Options

By Lawayne Childrey | Published 07 Dec 2010 08:37am | comments

Nearly nine thousand Mississippi Medicare beneficiaries will lose coverage at the end of this year because certain plans are no longer sanctioned or chose to no longer be a part of the Medicare system. MPB's Lawayne Childrey reports on a program called SHIP that is making the process of selecting a new plan easier for those in need.

Under the State Health Insurance Program also known as SHIP, director Katrina Hyche says they are the local voice and face of thousands of Mississippi Medicare beneficiaries.

"We help people in their open enrollment needs for applying for extra help to cut on their Medicare costs. We also help them if there's any problems with a plan. If a plan isn't treating somebody correctly provider is not giving the service they need, we will file complaints and appeals or anything dealing with Medicare for the beneficiaries."

One of those seeking help with finding the right Medicare coverage is Diana Monsour, a former college professor in Jackson.

"Basically I'd like for doctors visits and drugs to go down more, Medicare to do this more. And we need to have more breaks for senior citizens and people who cannot work and who need things more."

Everyone enrolled in Medicare automatically receives parts A and B which includes health coverage. Hyche says while there are other plans one of the most important plans to buy into is the part D prescription plan.

"There is no one fit for every Medicare beneficiary and that's why it’s always really important to talk to a SHIP counselor who we hear what you Medicare needs are and your medical, your medical needs. Find out what your prescriptions are and were gonna hook you up and show you what's out there for you so you can make a really good informed decision."

Hyche says if you are considering enrolling in Medicare Part D now is the time to do it. Waiting until after December 31st could cost you a 1% penalty for every month you didn't have it. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.

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