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Virtual Medicare basics class happening tomorrow, in Spanish

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Enrollees can drop or switch the plan coverage during this time.
Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

Lea esta historia en español aquí


Tomorrow, the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging will be hosting a Medicare basics class for Spanish-speaking older adults across the county.

From 1 to 2:30 p.m. a bilingual Medicare counselor will be available via a Microsoft Teams virtual call to provide information on basic Medicare information, including enrollment, benefits, and costs. Interested participants can also join by dialing a call-in number, which will be provided when registering for the call.

“We will have 45 minutes of explaining basic Medicare information and then open up to questions and answers… and it will be all in Spanish,” Herrera said.

Anyone turning 65,currently on Medicare or is a family member or caregivers is invited to join the class, said Karen Herrera, State Health Insurance Assistance Program bilingual Medicare counselor and class facilitator.

"Due to COVID Spanish-speaking older adults have had a harder time accessing Medicare information because they cannot go to the social services hub or senior centers in person anymore… It’s important that Spanish speakers understand their rights and possible pitfalls of missing their correct enrollment period,” she said.

Medicare’s annual open enrollment period is Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Enrollees can drop or switch the plan coverage during this time. Timely enrollment is key to avoid medical or prescription coverage gaps as well as avoiding late enrollment penalties, said Herrera.

“There’re so many options and I just yearn to share that with people so they know what those options are… Boulder County has medicare counseling that is not-for-profit and free of charge. The community can feel safe that we will protect their personal information. ” Herrera said.

Thursday’s will be the last structured class on Medicare to be offered in Spanish. However, starting in November, Herrera will be hosting Medicare Cafecitos every third Monday of the month.

“The Cafecitos will be more informal virtual conversations because we will gear the content around what the participants are interested in about Medicare,” said Herrera. “They can (join) every week and ask any questions.”

This is but one of the efforts the county is doing to enhance support and services to Spanish speakers, including other upcoming wellness programs for older adults.

“We are working on having more Spanish language outreach. We are here, we are trying to make our programs accessible… (we are) focusing on trying to speak with the Spanish-speaking community and really trying to find out what their needs and wants are,” said Nina Christensen, bilingual wellness outreach coordinator at the Boulder County Area Agency on Aging.

“I really want to encourage people to make a one-on-one appointment to talk about their specific situation and help explain Medicare,” said Herrera. She is currently the only bilingual Medicare counselor available in Boulder County to provide support and information to Spanish speakers.

To register for the upcoming Medicare basics class in Spanish, register here. To make a one-on-one counseling appointment or for additional information, contact Herrera at 303-678-6113.

To find more information on the Medicare Cafecito other upcoming programs for Spanish speakers, click here.

Silvia Romero Solís

About the Author: Silvia Romero Solís

Después de viajar por el mundo, Silvia llegó a establecerse en Longmont. Ella busca usar su experiencia en comunicaciones y cultura para crear más equidad y diversidad en las noticias de Longmont.
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