Over the last 5 years, a representative of the SHIP/Medicare program has worked in the FGRS office to assist hundreds of Fairfield Glade residents as well as Crossville and Cumberland County residents during the Medicare open enrollment period. The residents bring a list of their regular medications and using a computer application provided by Medicare you get an analysis of various medical drug providers’ costs. Having all this information available helps the residents make the most informed decision regarding which provider has the best coverage for their medical drug needs.
A few people each year that state that with the rising cost of prescription drugs, they are now at the point of having to decide whether to buy their medicine or to buy food. But fortunately, the extensive training the representative receives from the state also covers some state and federal funding programs that are available to people in this financial situation.
But the three months of open enrollment are not the only times that the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) can assist residents of the area. Because Medicare and prescription drug programs are very complex, the program shares information with monthly classes at the library for people just entering the Medicare program or having to choose a drug supplemental program for the first time.