Do you have questions about Medicare prescription drug coverage, or want to compare the different health plans available for seniors?
On Wednesday, the Medicare bus will bring counselors to Modesto to help people make choices for their coverage in 2008.
The free counseling will be provided from 1 to 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1528 Oakdale Road. Flu shots will be given from 1 to 2 p.m. For those with Medicare Part B coverage only, there is no charge for flu shots; otherwise, the cost is $20.
The Medicare bus will be in Sonora today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Junction Shopping Center, Highway 108 at Tuolumne Road.
Medicare is the government health program for people age 65 and older and adults with certain disabilities. Besides original Medicare coverage, beneficiaries can purchase additional insurance such as a Medicare Advantage plan. Also, a Medicare prescription drug benefit was offered for the first time in 2006.
From Nov. 15 to Dec. 31, people can enroll in a plan or make changes to their coverage for 2008. The Medicare bus has been making stops in cities in California, Nevada and Arizona to help people review their coverage for next year.
The Medicare bus is equipped with computers and other resources to help people review what the different plans have to offer and how much they cost.
"What we are telling people is take a look at your coverage and make sure it still meets your needs," said Jack Cheevers, a spokesman for Medicare in San Francisco. "Make sure the premium for your prescription drug plan has not gone up too much and the drugs you need are still covered. If you need to change, this is the time to do it."
Cheevers said people shouldn't wait until the last week in December to make changes to their coverage, or they could have trouble using benefits Jan. 1.
Experts can assist low income beneficiaries who may be eligible for financial assistance for prescription drug coverage. Those eligible can also apply for the assistance through a local Social Security office.