WLS Opens Senior Benefits Information Centers

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 Westchester Library System’s Senior Benefits Information Centers

Two Additional Locations Now Available Just In Time for Medicare Open Enrollment

Tarrytown, NY September 12, 2012–  A recent survey of older Americans conducted by the National Council on Aging discovered that seniors need answers: one in four were not confident they would be able to afford the costs associated with Medicare in future years, such as deductibles, premiums and co-pays. One third of the seniors surveyed said they were not confident they know all about the government benefits for which they are eligible.  Additional concerns were expressed about the availability of resources to support aging in place, and the challenges of giving and receiving care in later years.  For all of these concerns, Westchester County residents can get answers at Senior Benefit Information Centers located in public libraries around the county.

Eight public libraries in Westchester County offer free, one-to-one counseling to help seniors understand and apply for needed benefits and assistance.  Senior Benefits Information Centers are staffed by trained volunteers who bring personal experience and compassion to every encounter.  Available throughout the year, residents can gain assistance in understanding and applying for Medicare, food stamps, tax relief, and much more. Senior Benefits Information Centers save residents time and money, allowing them to stay healthy, protected, and connected.

Senior Benefit Information Centers help to address questions like these:

  • When and how can you enroll in Medicare?
  • What are the differences among Medicare plan options for medical and drug coverage?
  • If you’re already enrolled in Medicare and have experienced a change in health or financial status, are there plan changes you should make during the annual fall open enrollment period?
  • If you are having difficulty paying for healthcare needs, even with Medicare, what other benefits might be available to you?
  • Are you concerned that an older family member is not receiving needed services?  Have they asked you for help and you are wondering where to start?

As of last year, Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period starts a month earlier, running from October 15 through December 7.  This is a time for new enrollment, plan evaluation and changes, and a lot of marketing by health insurance firms. Make it your time to visit a local public library to confirm your benefit options and become acquainted with the fall programs available in libraries around the county.

Senior Benefit Information Centers are open weekdays; hours and times vary by location.  Sites include: John C. Hart Memorial Library in Shrub Oak (Tuesdays 10am-1pm), Mount Kisco Public Library (Wednesdays, 11am-2pm), Grinton I. Will Library in Yonkers (Tuesdays 10am-1pm, Thursdays, 11am-3pm), The Warner Library in Tarrytown (Wednesdays 10am-1pm), the New Rochelle Public Library (Fridays 10am-1pm), The Field Library in Peekskill (Thursdays 10am-1pm), and two additional locations now at the Greenburgh Public Library (Mondays 10am-1pm) and Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library (Thursdays 11am-2pm).

Senior Benefit Information Centers are made possible through a partnership with the Westchester Library System, the Medicare Rights Center and Westchester County’s Department of Senior Programs and Services. For more information call Elena Falcone, Director of WLS’ Office of Community Connections at 914 231 3240, or visit the Westchester Library System’s web site at www.westchesterlibraries.org.

About the Westchester Library System

The Westchester Library System (WLS) includes 38 member public libraries located throughout the County and is one of New York State’s 23 public library systems. WLS and its member libraries have a total collection of 5.1 million items, including 3.8 million books, as well as audio recordings, videocassettes, DVDs, print serials, and other materials. The mission of the Westchester Library System is to ensure that all residents have seamless access to excellent library service throughout Westchester County. The Westchester Library System serves as a center of innovation for the Westchester County library community. WLS provides model programs, affordable and easy-to-use information technology, and support services that enable libraries to continuously improve service to their communities. For more information, please visit www.westchesterlibraries.org.

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