Health Fair helps seniors with Medicare decisions

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A changing health care environment has been devastating for a Hamilton County couple because the woman's employer will no longer provide health insurance for her spouse.

Rita Winter is still working at age 60.  But her company will no longer provide medical insurance for spouses.  Her husband, Ted, is 79 and has Alzheimer's.  Rita signed him up for a Medicare Advantage program.  It was his second stay in rehab for pneumonia that made her quickly realize she now had dramatically different coverage.    

"Whether it will be maybe even sell my house or what it is going to take to get him the care at this point, I'm just very unsure of what I am going to have to do," Rita said. "But I am going to do whatever it takes to get him the care he needs." 

Open enrollment for Medicare is underway right now. Experts say it's hard to get beyond the sales pitches and make the best decision.  Bringing experts to you and offering free support is part of our WTHR Health Fair this Saturday. 

"Patients and families often don't know what questions to ask," said Angela Norris, a registered nurse. "So I am fortunate enough in having that knowledge base that I can clearly give them a table format of what the general difference can be between having original Medicare and a Medicare Advantage plan, and what that will mean to them at all levels of care." 

Norris will be at the fair from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to answer Medicare questions. The health fair is free and takes place at Community Healthplex Sports Club at 3660 Guion Road.