Senior Center hosts Medicare informational town hall meeting

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The Senior Center of South Pearl River County hosted a Medicare Town Hall meeting Tuesday afternoon to share options that are available to senior citizens in 2018.

At the meeting, Dr. James Riser from Riser Medical said he decided to hold the event after receiving a phone call from a patient who said they didn’t know which Medicare plan to pick. Typically, the patient told Riser, they usually just pick the first one they see available.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Riser said when it comes to Medicare, a person should choose a plan that will provide high-quality care at the lowest rate.

After Riser spoke, Deborah Conerly, a Medicare advisor for Elite-Care Agency, discussed the different types of Medicare plans available to senior citizens.

Conerly said there are three options when it comes to Medicare. The first is the original Medicare plan; the second option includes original Medicare, a supplemental plan and a prescription drug plan. The third option, known as an advantage plan, includes the original plan and a supplemental plan and also includes a prescription drug plan under one premium.

A person who just turned 65 has a three month period to enroll in Medicare or they can sign up during the annual declaration period, which takes place between October and December, Conerly said.

After choosing a new Medicare plan, the benefits go into effect on January 1, but if a person decides to go back to their previous plan, they have between Jan. 1 through Jan. 14 to make that decision.

Conerly said some of the factors to consider when choosing a Medicare plan include cost, benefits, convenience, needs and providers.

According to previous coverage, senior citizens residing in Pearl River County and other counties along South Mississippi have received an extension to the enrollment period for 2018. Citizens now have until Dec. 31 to choose a Medicare plan that will best suit their need.

To learn more about Medicare, visit