Open enrollment for Medicare begins October 15 for 2015. Medicare is health care coverage that is available for those 65 or older, and is also available for certain younger people with disabilities and for those with end-stage renal disease. Getting help navigating Medicare signup and getting questions answered will be part of the focus of the open enrollment period in New Mexico, through the Aging and Long-Term Services Department (ALTSD) of New Mexico.
ALTSD is a dedicated state agency that serves the needs of the state's aging population. It provides access to resources for seniors, those with disabilities, and their caregivers. The ALTSD's Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) helps over 4,200 seniors a month in getting assistance, access to services, and much needed information.
Open Enrollment Help
To assist with Medicare open enrollment, the ADRC will host meetings across the state that will help to answer questions and provide assistance with programs.
“Open enrollment is an important time to review Medicare coverage and make sure you have a plan that meets your needs,” said Aging and Long-Term Services Secretary Designate Myles Copeland. “Whether you are inquiring on your own behalf, or you are a family caregiver looking for Medicare insurance that provides the best value for your loved one, the great folks from our Aging and Disability Resource Center can walk you through the Medicare open enrollment process and make it a little less overwhelming.”
Some of the meetings will be walk-in, and others require an appointment. There will also be screening for Extra Help, a program that helps pay for prescription drugs. To be screened for Extra Help, bring in your prescriptions or a list of the medications you take, along with each drug's name, dosage and strength.
In Albuquerque, all sessions will take place October 15 through December 4. The majority will take place at city senior centers, thoughsome will take place at the AARP Information Center and ECHO. Sessions will take place in communities throughout the state. Bosque Farms, Estancia, Los Lunas, Rio Rancho and Santa Fe are just some of the locations near Albuquerque where information sessions will be held.
Other ALTSD Services
In addition to providing help with Medicare and senior services, the ALTSD is the state's agency for the proteciton of adults who have been victims of abuse, exploitation or neglect. Its Adult Protective Services Division (APS) processes reports of abuse and neglect and when necessary, initiates investigations. The APS receives and screens approximately 11,000 reports a year, and investigates about 60 percent annually.
The ALTSD Ombudsman Program protects those living in nursing homes and institutional settings. Ombudsmen work with New Mexicans who wish to leave institutions and return to their communities. Ombudmen are specially trained volunteers.