The Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging will host free Medicare 101 classes at 9 a.m. Oct. 16 and 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at 14 S. Chestnut St. Class sizes are limited and interested parties should call 719-635-4891 to reserve a place.

The Medicare 101 Classes were started in 2009, according to a PPACG news release, and serve approximately 200 seniors each year.

“Classes are hosted by the Senior Insurance Assistance team with a focus on providing information,” the release states. “PPACG does not sell or endorse any insurance, but serves as advocates for those over 60 and those on Medicare.”

The 2-hour classes provide an opportunity for seniors to:

* Understand basic Medicare benefits;

– Medicare Part A

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– Medicare Part B

– Medicare Part D

* Learn about other senior insurance options like:

– Medigaps/Supplements

– Medicare Advantage Plans

– Employer Group Plans

PPACG Senior Insurance Assistance is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program office, providing free insurance counseling and education for El Paso, Park, Teller, Chaffee, Custer, Fremont, Huerfano, Lake and Las Animas counties. The SHIP program can be reached through the statewide toll-free number 888-696-7213.

In 2016 PPACG Area Agency on Aging assisted 583 clients with Medicare open enrollment and fielded 9,688 calls and walk-in clients seeking information about senior services, the release states.

“Our trained SHIP staff and volunteers provide educational classes and presentations around the Pikes Peak region, in order to help you better understand Medicare and your health insurance benefits,” it said. “Our goal is to help you become a more informed insurance consumer by knowing what benefits options are available to you and enabling you to make more informed health insurance choices.”