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Free counseling assistance is available locally through Dec. 7 for Medicare-eligible residents and their caregivers during the Medicare Open Enrollment period.

During open enrollment, eligible adults can adjust Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage, move from original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan – or vice versa, switch between Medicare Advantage plans, join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, or switch or drop existing drug plans without penalty.

Because these can be overwhelming and confusing decisions, assistance is available to help clients find the closest State of Illinois Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) office, where they can schedule appointments to get help with open enrollment.

Those offices are at the following area locations:

  • Catholic Charities of Macoupin County, 525 W. Second South St., Carlinville – 217-854-4511, ext. 207
  • Illinois Valley Economic Development, 223 S. Macoupin St., Gillespie – 217-839-4431
  • Maple Street Clinic, 109 E. Maple St., Gillespie – 217-839-4142
  • Prairie Council on Aging, 223 S. Macoupin St., Gillespie – 217-839-4431
  • Montgomery County Health Department, 11191 Illinois Route 185, Hillsboro – 217-532-2001
  • Catholic Charities of Decatur, 239 W. Prairie St., Decatur – 217-428-3458
  • CHELP, 1429 W. Jasper St., Decatur – 217-422-9888
  • Decatur-Macon County Senior Center, 1430 N. 22nd St., Decatur – 217-429-1239
  • Macon County Health Department – Starting Point, 1221 E. Condit St., Decatur – 217-423-6550
  • Central Counties Health Center, 2239 E. Cook St., Springfield – 217-788-2373
  • CEFS Economic Opportunity Corp., 311 S. Main St., Taylorville – 217-824-4712
  • Senior Citizens of Christian County, 701 W. Adams St., Taylorville – 217-824-4263

SHIP counselors work through the Medicare.gov system to help seniors and people with disabilities make the best choices for their individual situation. Residents can contact SHIP by calling 800-252-8966 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

For more information, including a complete list of SHIP locations, visit http://www.illinois.gov/aging/ship/Pages/default.aspx.

To compare 2019 drug and health plans or to find out more about Medicare options, including preventive services now covered, visit the federal website at medicare.gov. Medicare customer service representatives are available around the clock at 800-633-4227.

SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company, and counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance. SHIP counselors in the field help seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare understand the options available to them. They also educate and answer questions about Medicare plans and options.

Category: Latest News

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SPRINGFIELD – The Rauner administration’s strict 45-hour cap on home care overtime for personal assistants to disabled Illinoisans is too severe and deserves review, State Senator Andy Manar said Monday, flanked by two constituents who are struggling because of the policy.

“We’re seeing quality-of-life and quality-of-care suffer as a result of the governor’s restrictions,” Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said. “Gov. Rauner should remember that some cuts may look good on a balance sheet, but they have life-threatening consequences when put into practice.”

Manar sponsored legislation (HB 3376) in 2017 to extend the overtime cap to 55 hours in an effort to compromise between disability advocates and the administration. Gov. Rauner vetoed the measure.

Manar said he intends to introduce legislation again to address the matter, with input from those who are most affected.

“This policy deserves another look, and lawmakers deserve to hear from constituents who must live with the decisions that are made here in Springfield,” he said.

Joining Manar were DHS Home Service Program consumer David Spurney and his caregiver, Tami Straub, both Staunton residents who are struggling because of the overtime cap.

Read more ...

Category: Latest News

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SPRINGFIELD – The date for evening office hours hosted by State Senator Andy Manar and Springfield’s Ward 3 Ald. Doris Turner has been changed to Monday, Oct. 15.

Manar and Turner will be available to speak with residents about issues and concerns between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the City of Springfield’s Office of Community Relations, 1450 Groth St.

The event originally was scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the same location.

Constituents will be able to ask questions and seek assistance with issues involving state agencies or programs. Walk-in visits are welcome. Appointments are encouraged but not required. To schedule a time, call Senator Manar’s Springfield office at 217-782-0228.

Constituents who are unable to make it to these office hours but need assistance with a matter may call or visit Senator Manar’s district offices any time throughout the year to speak with a staff member. The locations and phone numbers are:

  • Bunker Hill office, 115 N. Washington St. – 618-585-4848
  • Springfield office, 119A Capitol Building – 217-782-0228
  • Decatur office, Macon County Office Building, 141 S. Main St., Suite 502 – 217-429-8110
Category: Latest News

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COFFEEN – State Senator Andy Manar toured the Coffeen power station Friday to reaffirm his commitment to the plant’s operations, its role in the energy market and the workers it employs.

Participating in the tour and discussion were: Manar; plant manager John Cooley; production manager Kevin Ziegler; maintenance manager Scott Bell; administration manager Joyce Lipe; safety specialist Joe Luckett; Jeff Ferry government affairs director for Vistra Energy, which operates the Coffeen plant; Jerad Volkmar, business manager for Laborers’ Local 1084; and Luke Lyerla, union steward for the Operating Engineers Local 148.

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Manar (D-Bunker Hill) reiterated that he is ready to take whatever steps necessary to work with Vistra Energy to keep the plant part of its fleet of production facilities across multiple states.

“Not only is the Coffeen Power Station critical to energy production in Illinois, it is a major employer in this part of the state and a vital piece of the local economy,” he said.

Volkmar, whose grandfather and father also worked at the Coffeen plant, said the power station provides the kind of well-paying jobs that are needed to support families, local schools and smaller, locally owned businesses.

“Since the coal mines closed down, Montgomery County doesn’t have as many of the kinds of job opportunities it takes to attract families to the area,” he said. “The Coffeen power station keeps families here and pumps money into the local economy. Without it, the county and our schools would be devastated.”

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Manar, whose Senate district includes the Coffeen plant, voted against the so-called “Exelon bill” in 2016, which prioritized Chicago-area energy jobs over downstate energy jobs.

He also has decried the lack of downstate representation on the Illinois Commerce Commission, the powerful board that approves utility rates and monitors railroad crossing safety. He filed Senate Bill 3626, which require geographic balance on the five-member panel. Manar was the only member of the Senate to vote against the governor’s latest appointment to the commerce commission. Since taking office in 2015, Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed five members to the commission; none live outside of Cook and DuPage counties. It’s the first time in a century that no downstate member sits on the ICC.

Manar said the spring legislative session will be a critical time for potential legislation related to energy production in Illinois.

“I will continue to have an open line of communication to Vistra, and I will continue to fight to protect jobs in Montgomery County,” he said.

Category: Latest News

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Contact Me

Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228

Decatur Office:
Macon County Office Building
141 S. Main St., Suite 502
Decatur, IL 62523
Phone: (217) 429-8110

Bunker Hill Office:
115 N. Washington, P.O. Box 636
Bunker Hill, IL 62014
Phone: (618) 585-4848