Choosing which insurance to get can be among the most important decisions people make.
To help provide information on the subject, the Eldercare Council of Warren and Forest counties will hold a panel discussion with local experts. The free event is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 at Allegheny Community Center.
Farley Wright, council president, said one of the group's goals is to provide general education services to the community.
"The best weapon is knowledge," Wright said.
Mary Mangione, Apprise coordinator for Experience, Inc., will discuss Medicare enrollment, Medicare Part D enrollment, PACE/PACENET eligibility and enrollment and Extra Help for prescriptions eligibility and enrollment. Scott Panetta of Bankers Life & Casualty Company/Conseco will talk about Medicare Supplement Plans C-N and Medicare Advantage plans.
Carl Anderson and Barb Smith of Insurance Solutions will cover supplemental insurance plans from the private sector. Other topics will include Social Security information and healthy lifestyle tips.
For attendees, Wright hopes they learn basic information about a number of programs. They will also know how important it is to be informed about healthcare decisions.
Lisa To, council member, said the goal isn't to promote a company. Instead, Wright said, they want people to know what products are available.
Sue Himes, council member, said younger people assisting their parents could also benefit from the information. With a sudden heart attack or stroke, Wright said, people can find themselves as caregivers for their parents.
"It's a shame, but human nature is to pretend you're not getting older," Wright said. "People avoid these discussions until they hit the wall, and then they don't have a choice."
According to Himes, people should bring questions. There will be plenty of time for the panel to provide answers.
If there's enough attendance, Wright said people could be surveyed to see what topic the council should cover next. Another expo would likely be held in January and others would continue quarterly.