LACONIA — By most estimates, about 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, making them eligible for Medicare. While the program provides coverage for a broad range of important health care services, those new to it may experience a bit of a learning curve when it comes to understanding how the benefits work.

ServiceLink of Belknap County is offering a pair of free workshops for those who are, or will be, new to Medicare. The first will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 28, and the second on Tuesday, Sept. 25, bot at 10:30 a.m.

The workshops, which will take place at the Partnership for Public Health, Suite 205, 67 Water St., Laconia, will provide a broad overview of how Medicare works and help recipients prepare for open enrollment for prescription drug plans and Advantage plans, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 in 2018.

Lori Raymond, a Medicare counselor for ServiceLink of Belknap County, said, “Medicare prescription drug plans can change from year to year, and for those new to the program, there can be a lot to learn: cost of plans, prescription drug coverage, what pharmacies and doctors are in the network and more.”

ServiceLink of Belknap County, which is part of the Partnership for Public Health, provides a two-step approach to Medicare enrollment. The workshops provide a primer about how Medicare works and the agency provides additional assistance by appointment for those who have specific questions. In addition, ServiceLink of Belknap County will be available to help Medicare beneficiaries compare and change prescription drug plans and Advantage plans. The programs are free of charge.

“Our goal is to inform, educate and empower community members,” Raymond said, "so that they can make the best decisions for themselves and their family when it comes to this vitally important issue.”

While the workshops are free, pre-registration is required, as space is limited. Family members and caregivers are also welcome to attend. To sign up, call 603-707-5871 or contact Raymond via email at lraymond@servicelinkpphnh.org.

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