• 81°

Medicare Van Tour hosts senior citizens at Dunbar

A senior citizens Medicare conference called "We're Talking Turkey about Medicare," was held Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the Dunbar Recreation Center from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Sponsored by the South Central Alabama Development Commission's Area Agency on Aging, in conjunction with the Medicare Division of Blue Cross, Blue Shield Insurance Company and the Camellia City Senior Center, the conference consisted of a project overview, presented by Roberta Whitley, Medicare Beneficiary Outreach Representative for Blue Cross, Blue Shield Insurance, and presentations by several of the participating agencies.

Whitley spoke to the group on the topic, "Information Channels and Appeals Rights," Jody Harris covered Social Security Administration issues and Barbara Baites talked about "Medicare Rights and Quality Improvement."

Whitley said the program was started last year in an effort to reach communities that didn't have access to Medicare services.

"This is also an opportunity to let them know about the availability of services and changes in their Medicare coverage," Whitley said.

Sylvia Alexander, Director of the Area Agency on Aging, said more than 150 people were invited to the conference.

"We also put up posters and flyers in the area inviting anyone interested to please join us," Alexander said. "This is a great way for them to get some vital information about Medicare and other area services that can help them with their medical needs. We have vendors here from throughout the state."

Alexander said 70 companies or agencies were participating in this year's event.

On hand with booths at the conference were L.V. Stabler Memorial Hospital, Social Security Administration, McLendon Medical Supply, Medicare Outreach/Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators, Centiva Health Services, Medicare Benefit Agency, Alabama Dept. of Rehabilitative Services, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Alabama Medicaid Agency, New Beacon, South Central Alabama Development Commission's Area Agency on Aging, Camellia City Senior Center, Alabama Dept. of Public Health and the Alabama Organ Center.

Mayor Dexter McLendon and County Commission Chairman Daniel Robinson were on hand to welcome the senior citizens.

Whitley said the program is held every year during the week before Thanksgiving.

This year's theme is "We're Talking Turkey about Medicare." The dcor of the conference also reflected the holiday.

During the program, door prizes were given to attendees via a random ticket drawing. The door prizes were items ranging from gift baskets to gift certificates. Donors of the door prizes were Winn Dixie, Area Agency on Aging, Camellia City Senior Center, Cahaba Government Benefit Administrators and Wisteria Cottage.

The program was followed by an invitation to the attendees to visit the vendors' booths.

Lunch also was provided for the attendees at the recreation center.