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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 25, 2006

City joining efforts to provide Medicare D education

With the assistance of the City of Kansas City, Mo., the Access to Benefits Coalition is one of 53 coalitions around the country educating and enrolling beneficiaries in prescription savings programs. Shepherd’s Centers of America is the lead agency for the coalition, working with government and social service agencies.

The Gregg Community Center, at 1600 John “Buck” O’Neil Way, is an enrollment site for the new Medicare Prescription Drug Plan in an effort to inform citizens about this community health issue.

Enrollment assistance will be provided every Thursday through May 11, from 9:30 a.m. until noon by appointment only. Appointments must be made 48 hours in advance by calling Sharon Jones, Parks and Recreation Department, (816) 784-1135.

The Access to Benefits Coalition of Greater Kansas City is hosting educational events on Saturdays to help people make decisions about the new plan and navigate the online Medicare Plan Finder.

The events on the Missouri side of the metropolitan area will be Jan. 28, March 11 and May 6 from 8 a.m. until noon at:

    Penn Valley Community College, 3201 Southwest Trafficway, Kansas City, Mo.

    Pioneer Campus of Penn Valley Community College, 2700 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.

    Maple Woods Community College, 2601 NE Barry Road, Kansas City, Mo.

    Longview Community College, 500 SW Longview Road, Lee’s Summit, Mo.

    Palmer Center, 218-A N. Pleasant St., Independence, Mo.

Those who attend should bring their Medicare cards, lists of medications and information about any other medical coverage they have.

“Unfortunately, the Medicare D prescription programs enacted by Congress are unnecessarily complicated,” said Dr. Rex Archer, director of the City of Kansas City, Mo., Health Department.

“A person eligible for these plans can end up paying more if they aren't careful,” Archer said. “We urge citizens to take advantage of these great consultation opportunities before choosing a plan.”

Volunteers are needed at these events to provide information, answer questions, help analyze choices, assist with online enrollment in Extra Help or a Medicare Part D Plan, and make referrals for additional help as needed. Volunteers must attend training sessions. Those interested in volunteering for this community service should call the Shepherd's Centers of America, (816) 960-2022.

For more information about the enrollment events, call the Access to Benefits Coalition of Greater Kansas City, (816) 753-7279, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday through Friday; or the Shepherd’s Centers of America, (816) 960-2022, between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    
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