RSVP bringing back Medicare D counseling |

RSVP bringing back Medicare D counseling

Heidi Rice
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

RIFLE, Colorado ” If you’re 65 or older, taking prescription medications and on Medicare, the High Country Retired Senior Volunteer Program can help you out in deciding what prescription program is right for you in 2009.

And if you have time to volunteer in the program, you’re wanted as well.

For the fourth year, High Country RSVP is sponsoring the Medicare D counseling program for seniors, assisting in the navigation of the various programs during open enrollment that runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 30.

Even if you chose a plan last year, you should do it again each year as the programs and rules change from year to year, said Cheryl Cain, RSVP director.

“The only way to decide what plan is best for you is to go online and that’s a stumbling block for many seniors,” said Cain. “Last year, there were 56 drug plans available for seniors to choose from. And it’s great to have choices – but who’s going to do all that? Sorting through them is another stumbling block for seniors.”

Drug companies often will change the prices of the drugs they dispense as well as which ones are on certain lists – which can be hard to keep up with for anyone – especially elderly people.

“We’re dealing with a group of people whose cognitive abilities may or may not be compromised,” Cain said.

But the RSVP volunteers are there to help walk seniors through the process and help them choose which is the best plan for them and what they can afford.

“There’s a lot of people in Garfield County who have to choose whether they can afford their medications, afford food or afford heat,” Cain said. “For some people, these decisions are way too complicated and they need help.”

In order to help the seniors, volunteers are also needed to assist in the counseling program. A three-hour training course is provided that will enable the volunteers to help with the Medicare D program along with the State Health Insurance Program, which addresses a number of Medicare issues.

“The State Health Insurance Program includes all Medicare issues,” Cain said. “It’s a comprehensive program that’s year-round.”

Those needing assistance with the Medicare D program can call RSVP and a volunteer will get back with them to set up an appointment.

“What we’ll need is your name, your phone number, a list of the medications you are on as printed by your doctor or pharmacist, the dosage and the frequency,” Cain said.

For more information about the program, visit the website at and to schedule an appointment with RSVP, call 384-8744.

A training program for volunteers will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Nov. 13, at Colorado Mountain College, 1402 Blake Avenue in Glenwood Springs . For more information on volunteering, call 947-8462 or 947-8461 to register and get more information.

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