Office of Healthy Aging offers free Medicare enrollment assistance

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With the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period having started Oct. 15, the Office of Healthy Aging (OHA) offers free, unbiased coaching and enrollment assistance to Rhode Islanders during the Open Enrollment period, which runs through December 7. More than 200,000 people are covered by Medicare in the state.

"Our mission every day is to empower people to live well," said OHA Director Rose Amoros Jones. "Helping people access quality health insurance and make informed decisions are important parts of the equation; we know how daunting the process of selecting coverage can be. Through early December, we will host hundreds of enrollment events and individual sessions to help connect people to the right coverage, at the right cost, for their needs. And we couldn't do it without our partners and volunteers. It is a credit to them that Rhode Island's Open Enrollment period is so successful each year."

Rhode Island's Medicare Open Enrollment period is coordinated by OHA's nationally recognized State Health Information Program (SHIP). Through a robust network of community partners and volunteers, SHIP provides free, personalized coaching on Medicare benefits and services to older Rhode Islanders, adults with disabilities, families and caregivers throughout the year. Last year, 24 volunteers and 39 community partners became certified SHIP counselors, serving more than 20,000 Rhode Islanders and participating in over 1,000 hours of training. For more information on SHIP services, call 1-888-884-8721. This year, OHA is sponsoring over 170 Medicare Open Enrollment events throughout the state. For a list of dates and locations, visit www.oha.ri.gov.

To schedule an appointment with a certified SHIP counselor, contact The POINT at 462-4444. Through the POINT, older Rhode Islanders, adults with disabilities and their caregivers can access a wealth of information and available resources in the community. OHA Director Rose Amoros Jones joined Joseph DeSantis, president and CEO of Tri-County Community Action Center, today to kick off Rhode Island's Medicare Open Enrollment period. Tri-County is one of many OHA partners that provides individual coaching and enrollment assistance to Rhode Islanders during the Open Enrollment period.

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