AGING SERVICES: It's Medicare Open Enrollment time!

October 15th - December 7th is the Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare—you can change your plan during this time!. To see if there's a better plan for you contact a CHOICES counselor at your local Area Agency on Aging by calling 1-800-994-9422.
What is CHOICES?
Connecticut’s program for Health insurance assistance, Outreach, Information and referral, Counseling, Eligibility Screening.
 • Call CHOICES at 1-800-994-9422 to speak with a counselor in your area
The CHOICES Program:
• Provides information to persons age 60 and older and persons with disabilities.
• Is a cooperative program of the State of Connecticut Department of Social Services, the Area Agencies on Aging, and the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
• Is comprised of both staff, in-kind professionals from local service agencies and volunteers.
• Is also known as the CT SHIP or State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
• Is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Administration on Aging through the Older Americans Act.
• Produces the following guides: 
-Guide to Choosing a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan in Connecticut
-Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance (Medigap) Rate Charts
Information on Health Insurance Assistance:
• CHOICES provides information and assistance about Medicare and other related health insurance options including:

 Original Medicare  Medicare Rx
 Medicare Supplement Insurance
 Medicare Managed Care (HMO) Insurance   Long Term Care Insurance
Information and Referral
• CHOICES is a “one-stop shopping” information source for services available to older adults.  Referrals to appropriate agencies is another offering which enables individuals to access needed services.  Area Agencies on Aging provide direction to local service providers who can specifically address any one of the following  problems or concerns that older persons and their families may be encountering:
Adult Day Care   Financial Assistance   Home Care
Respite Care  Legal Assistance  Nursing Homes
Housing Options  Elder Abuse  Transportation
Eligibility Screening
• Area Agency on Aging staff provide information and preliminary screening for more than 20 federal and state benefit programs.  Actual eligibility determinations for benefits and programs can only be made through a formal application process with the appropriate federal, state, or local agency managing program.  Programs include:

Supplemental Security Income  
Medicare Savings Programs: QMB, SLMB   Energy Assistance
Connecticut Home Care Program    Medicaid
•The CHOICES program periodically works with the Department of Social Services to provide a mobile screening service. For more information please visit the Department of Social Services Mobile Office webpage.

CHOICES Volunteer Information
CHOICES Volunteer Opportunities
Many people are unaware of the contributions they can make to help individuals better understand their Medicare options.  By volunteering with CHOICES, you can become an integral member of the growing effort to educate consumers about Medicare, programs that can help with out-of-pocket medical costs, health care fraud, and consumer rights.  CHOICES counselors help consumers understand their options so that beneficiaries can make educated choices about their coverage.
What will you get out of it?  You will be educated regularly on issues pertaining to Medicare and health care fraud and scams.  You will have continued support from CHOICES staff and other volunteers.  YOU WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR COMMUNITY!
We need counselors who are computer literate and who know how to navigate the internet and email.  To ensure complete objectively, we are unable to accept volunteers who are employed or affiliated with insurance brokers, agents or financial planners. 
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a CHOICES Certified Volunteer or CHOICES Certified in kind professional, please visit the Area Agency on Aging’s website in your area or call 1-800-994-9422   (1-860-424-5274 for those using cell phones). 
CHOICES Volunteer Training Dates
For details on the CHOICES training events follow the links below.
  • CHOICES Volunteer Training Flyer
  • CHOICES Volunteer Training Brochure
For additional information about the CHOICES program please contact Patricia Richardson, CHOICES Statewide Coordinator, at (860) 424-5698 or
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