OCEAN COUNTY seniors are encouraged to attend informational seminars to learn more about 2017 changes to Medicare plans and how it may affect their individual health benefits and coverage.

“The Ocean County Office of Senior Services will be providing assistance to our seniors who may have questions about changes to Medicare or who need to make plan changes,” said Ocean County Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari, who serves as liaison to Senior Services.  “The more information our seniors and their caregivers have the more informed choices they can make when it comes to Medicare and Medicare Part D.”

Four educational seminars on Medicare changes for 2017 are scheduled for October and November.

The dates, locations and times for the seminars are 9 to 11 a.m., Oct. 21 at the Manchester Civic Center, 1 Colonial Drive, Manchester Township; 9 to 11 a.m., Oct. 31, Toms River Senior Center, 652 Garfield Ave., Toms River; 1 to 3 p.m., also on Oct. 31, Jackson Senior Center, 45 Don Connor Blvd., Jackson and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Nov. 1, Brick Senior Center, 373 Adamson Road, (VFW building) Brick.

All the seminars are free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register call the Ocean County Office of Senior Services at 1-800-668-4899 or 732-929-2091.

In addition to the seminars, detailed information regarding options is available on the Medicare Plan Finder which can be accessed at  www.Medicare.gov and in the Medicare and You 2017 Handbook that will be mailed to Medicare beneficiaries.  There are numerous plans for New Jersey with different costs and benefit coverage and individuals will need to learn as much as possible about them.

The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.

“It’s important to get the right information when attempting to navigate both Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans,” said Freeholder Director John P. Kelly. “There is a lot of information to learn in a short period of time.”

The Ocean County Office of Senior Services is working with all of its providers to raise the awareness of both older adults and their caregivers.