CareLink providing free appointments for Medicare drug plan reviews

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Central Arkansas Medicare recipients can call CareLink Information and Assistance at 501.372.5300 or 800.482.6359 to make an appointment for a free Medicare Drug Plan review during the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage. The time period has moved from the end of the year to Oct. 15-Dec. 7.

Health needs change from year to year, and health insurance plans change annually. So Medicare recipients need to re-evaluate their plans during the open enrollment period each year to be sure they have the best coverage for the coming year.

“We’re a local nonprofit, and we’re not associated with any insurance plan,” said CareLink Outreach Manager Debbie Gillespie. “CareLink counselors provide an objective review of your medications and the offerings from Medicare Prescription Drug insurers to come up with your best plan for 2012. In the past, these reviews have saved some people hundreds of dollars each month.”

Medicare changed the enrollment period to begin Oct. 15 and last seven full weeks – longer than ever before – to give older people more time to review their plans and make changes to their coverage.  Beginning this year, Medicare recipients will need to make their final selection for 2012 Medicare coverage by Dec. 7 to ensure Medicare coverage continues without interruption on Jan. 1, 2012.

Medicare recipients must have an appointment for a review during the open enrollment period.  Homebound older people may call for CareLink to review medications in their homes, but most reviews occur at CareLink’s office at 706 West 4th Street in North Little Rock or during scheduled times at these central Arkansas locations:

  • Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center (NLR)        Oct. 17        8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Dunbar Senior Center                    Oct. 18        9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Bryant Senior Center                    Oct. 19        8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Des Arc Senior Center                    Oct. 20        9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Jacksonville Senior Center                Oct. 24        9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Conway Senior Center                Oct. 24        8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Betty Fort/Lonoke Senior Center            Nov. 1        8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Bess Chisum Stephens Center (LR)            Nov. 1        8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Des Arc Senior Center                    Nov. 3        9 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Benton Senior Center                    Nov. 3        8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center (NLR)        Nov. 9        8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Cabot Senior Center                    Nov. 9        8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Brinkley Senior Center                Nov.  14    8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Conway Senior Center                Nov. 15    8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Jack Evans Sherwood Senior Center            Nov. 17    9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.                    

Last year more than 19,000 people in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline counties were CareLinked with information and resources to help them stay active and in their own homes, avoiding more costly care.  Older people and their caregivers can get the information and assistance they need from CareLink at 501.372.5300, toll-free 800.482.6359 or by visiting