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03 November 2011

Lichtenegger: Know Your State Department: Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration (DIFP), Part 1

Part 1: The State’s Insurance Division and the Federal Medicare Program

Know someone who could use help in understanding the federal Medicare program? The program contains a large amount of very specific information and guidelines which could confuse an academic genius! Open enrollment begins in October and continues through December 7, so time is limited for citizens to make any needed changes in their current -or new- enrollment, especially since almost every year brings one or two changes to this massive program.

The Missouri Community Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri (CLAIM) is a non-profit organization that is in partnership with state and federal departments handling the Medicare program. It is equipped to counsel Medicare recipients in understanding their current Medicare program, current options and other questions they may have. A visit to the Missouri CLAIM website will prove a valuable resource with a variety of Medicare updates, information regarding current scams, and there is even a CLAIM Calendar where you can find an information event near you. These events have counselors who are specifically trained to help you make the best choice possible for your health needs. If you are not able to attend any of the regional events you can call 800-390-3330 and set up a one-on-one to get the help you need. Now that’s service!

CLAIM will also help consumers determine whether they qualify for federal or state help in paying for prescription drugs. This is the state’s MO Rx program managed by the state’s Department of Social Services: (link)

There’s no need to be in the dark about you or your loved one’s Medicare options, so don’t hesitate to use MO CLAIM if you need assistance in understanding the maze of the state and/or federal programs. Information is a vital component of the decision making process!


On Wednesday, November 9, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct the first-ever nation-wide Emergency Alert test at 1:00 p.m. central standard time. The alert will be transmitted throughout the country. You can link here to find out more about this first-ever national diagnostic test of the Emergency Alert System.

Constituent Corner

For Medicare enrollment assistance in Cape Girardeau and Perry Counties:
  • Every Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CLAIM counselors meet with constituents at the Jackson Senior Center, 2690 Traveler’s Way, to assist seniors with their Medicare enrollment. There is additional help for seniors with other overwhelming paperwork via APPLE -a project of Southeast Missouri State University intended to assist seniors with Applications, Personal Papers, Legal and Environmental paperwork. You can call the Jackson Senior Center 243-4241 for more information.
  • Call Perry County Senior Center, 547-2188, for information regarding their November 17 event and for the November 23, Altenburg location where APPLE will assist seniors.
  • For the November 21 Cape Girardeau location, call the Cape Girardeau Senior Center 335-1352.

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