By Amanda Hatfield Anderson
BREVARD -- As open enrollment for Medicare and the new Health Insurance Marketplace gets closer and more questions about the Affordable Care Act emerge, one local organization will host a free event to ease the overwhelming feeling many Brevard residents have.
On Friday, Sept. 27, One Senior Place will welcome seniors and other interested members of the public, as it presents "The Affordable Health Care Act and More." The informational event, which runs from noon until 4 p.m., is free, but interested attendees are asked to RSVP to ensure seating.
"Our fifth annual Senior Insurance Day event, 'The Affordable Care Act and More,' is scheduled just prior to open enrollment for Medicare, so that attendees can gather information from a variety of insurance specialists to help them make decisions about their Medicare choices," said Kathi Ridner, director. "The Affordable Care Act has created some concern for senior citizens."
Hoping to dispel that concern, Brenda Radke, CEO of Brevard Physicians Network, will offer a practical overview of the new health care law the in hope of helping seniors understand how the Affordable Care Act may affect them.
Brevard Physicians Network is an independent practice association of more than 300 multispecialty health care providers in Brevard County.
"One of our featured speakers, Brenda Radke, will be providing a factual overview of how the Affordable Care Act will affect people of Medicare Age," Ms. Ridner said. "This will not be a political discussion or debate of differing opinions, so there will be no controversy."
One of the key myths Ms. Ridner hopes to dispel at the "Affordable Care Act and More" event is that seniors learn that Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace. She said that Medicare recipients do not have to replace their coverage with Marketplace coverage.
In addition to Ms. Radke, Nancy Youssef, a Health First Health Plans Pharmacist, will also be speaking at the event.
"Nancy Youssef will discuss name-brand versus generic prescriptions and how medications get on a formulary," Ms. Ridner said. "Choosing a Medicare option is based, in part, on the plans that have a particular medication on their formulary."
Attendees will also be able to participate in an "Ask the Experts" question-and-answer session, with a panel of specialists to answer any additional questions not addressed during the first two presentations.
Open enrollment for Medicare is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, with open enrollment for the new Health Insurance Marketplace taking place from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. Ms. Ridner said that the two open enrollment periods can be confusing, but Medicare recipients only have to be concerned about the Medicare open enrollment period.
"The most important reason to attend the Affordable Health Care Act and More is to obtain factual information, as everyone should be an informed consumer," Ms. Ridner said. "Our annual event is designed to inform and empower the senior citizens of Brevard, so that they can make a decision that is right for them."
One Senior Place will host "The Affordable Health Care Act and More" on Friday, Sept. 27 from noon until 4 p.m. Admission is free, but those interested in attending are asked to RSVP to ensure seating.
One Senior Place is located at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road, Viera.
For more information or to RSVP, call (321) 751-6771 or visit www.oneseniorplace.com.