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Help available for seniors with questions about Medicare prescription cards

Seniors in the Tyrone area and throughout Blair County will have the opportunity to have their questions answered about the benefits of the new Medicare prescription drug card.
Mike Smith, the coordinator of Blair Senior Services’ APRISE program, is holding a series of town meetings including one in Tyrone to aid seniors in regard to the issue.
APRISE, Pennsylvania’s State Health Insurance program, provides health insurance counseling for people with Medicare. Trained counselors are available, free of charge, to answer any questions about Medicare. The counselors can provide information about enrollment, supplemental insurance options, managed care plans or filing an appeal for service denials.
Robin Beck, director of development, at Blair Senior Services holds the program in high regard.
“It’s a terrific program,” said Beck. “It can help anyone with questions about Medicare. The program doesn’t make decisions for people but it can help them make informed choices. It’s a good advocate for older adults.”
Beck mentioned there’s also a toll-free information hotline available for those unable to attend one of the meetings. The number is 1-800-783-7067 and is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“The question I hear most often is from people who are on the PACE (Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly) program,” said Smith. Many individuals are concerned about how their PACE benefits will coordinate with the new Medicare prescription card offerings. That issue has become an important topic at the town meetings and in individual counseling sessions,” Smith said.
The meeting in Tyrone is scheduled for Tuesday, June 8 at 10:30 a.m. at the Tyrone Senior Center, 905 W. Third Street. Meetings are also scheduled for June 3 at the Claysburg Senior Center at 10:30 a.m. and at the Magee Lecture Hall, Altoona Hospital, 620 Howard Avenue, Altoona on July 20 at 1 p.m.
In addition to the state-based information hotline anyone wanting more information on the APRISE program can call Senior Services, Inc. The phone number is 946-1235 or toll-free at 1-800-245-3282.