Muddling through the Medicare maze

Muddling through the Medicare maze

It’s that time of year, and Lynne Meagher scarcely has time to talk, running as she does from meetings to telephone to computer and back again. So busy is she that she saves important parts of her work, such as filling in forms and writing reports, until very late at night or ridiculously early in the morning. As Meagher says, the only time you can do those meetings and make those calls is during business hours.

The people she meets, and from whom she takes those calls, often are uncertain and perplexed, if not downright frustrated.

Through Dec. 7, it is open enrollment season for Medicare health care and prescription drug plan beneficiaries. Meagher is their advocate at Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders, a service of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, in this case, in Melbourne.

“Oh, yes, we’re busy,” Meagher said. “We get calls directly and through the state’s Elderhelp line (800-963-5337), and I’m so busy right now that I wait until (after hours) to complete some of the forms that must be done. But it’s a very rewarding time of year.”

It is rewarding, she continues, because so many Brevardians have benefited from SHINE’s assistance — about 7,400 last year — and because they have saved so much money by doing so, usually $100 to $400 a year.

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