Medicare open enrollment is open now until Dec. 7 for Arizonans age 65 and older and some younger people with disabilities.

If you do not already have care or are interested in changing your plan, there are many resources available to help you through the process.

Medicare counselors with the Pima Council on Aging are available now to provide information, answer questions and assist you in Medicare open enrollment at no cost.

Pima Council on Aging 2020 Medicare Presentations are virtual sessions — a two-hour presentation followed by a one-hour Q&A.

Each workshop will be presented by a Pima Council on Aging Medicare specialist, based on federal and state guidelines.

The sessions will discuss how Medicare works, including:

  • Understanding your benefits
  • How and when to enroll to avoid late enrollment penalties
  • Original Medicare, Medigap, Prescription Drug Plan and Medicare Advantage comparisons — finding the right plan for you, such as programs that help pay Medicare Part B premiums and/or prescription drug costs (for incomes up to $1,615 individuals/$2,175 couple)

These presentations take place in a Zoom meeting every Tuesday from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. through Dec. 1. There is no charge to attend, and reservations are not required.

“The decisions you make in open enrollment can impact you for the entire year,” said Tina Marie Higdon, Medicare coordinator at the Pima Council on Aging in Tucson.

For more information, call PCOA’s Medicare Help Line at 520-546-2011 or email Find more information and Zoom link details at


Health-care fraud, waste and abuse costs American taxpayers over $60 billion each year.

The national Senior Medicare Patrol program is working to strengthen Medicare by recruiting and training retired professionals and other senior citizens to recognize and report health-care billing errors and suspected instances of health-care fraud.

Each year nearly 4,500 volunteers, trained by regional senior Medicare patrol offices, conduct community outreach and peer-to-peer training to help Medicare consumers:

  • Identify potential scams and other fraudulent activity
  • Detect errors on their medicare summary notices or explanations of benefits
  • Report suspected fraud or abuse to the proper authorities

Medicare and Medicaid consumers are an essential element in national fraud-fighting efforts.

Consumers are best positioned to detect and report abuse, and the senior Medicare patrol aims to empower them to do so through education and advocacy.