Central Arkansas Medicare recipients can call CareLink Information and Assistance at 372-5300 or 800-482-6359 to make an appointment for a free Medicare Drug Plan review during the Open Enrollment Period for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage through Dec. 7.

Health needs change from year to year, and health insurance plans change annually. So Medicare recipients need to re-evaluate their plans during the open enrollment period each year to be sure they have the best coverage for the coming year.

"We’re a local nonprofit, and we’re not associated with any insurance plan," said CareLink Outreach Manager Debbie Gillespie. "CareLink counselors provide an objective review of your medications and the offerings from Medicare Prescription Drug insurers to help you find your best plan for 2013. In the past, these reviews have saved some people hundreds of dollars each month."

Medicare’s enrollment period gives older people ample time to review their plans and make changes to their coverage. Medicare recipients will need to make their final selection for 2014 Medicare coverage by Dec. 7 to ensure Medicare coverage continues without interruption on Jan. 1, 2014.

Gillespie said Medicare recipients must have an appointment for a review during the open enrollment period. Homebound older people may call for CareLink to review medications in their homes, but most reviews occur at CareLink’s office in North Little Rock or during scheduled times at these central Arkansas locations:

• Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center in North Little Rock on Oct. 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Cabot Senior Center, Oct. 16, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Jacksonville Senior Wellness and Activity Center, Oct. 21, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Maumelle Senior Wellness Center, Oct. 28, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Betty Fort Senior Center, Lonoke,Oct. 28, 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Jack Evans Senior Citizens Center, Sherwood, Oct. 31, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

• Patrick Henry Hays Senior Center in North Little Rock, Nov. 13, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• CareLink, 706 West 4th St., North Little Rock, Oct. 15 — Dec. 7, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Last year more than 18,000 people in Faulkner, Lonoke, Monroe, Prairie, Pulaski and Saline counties were CareLinked with information and resources to help them stay active and in their own homes, avoiding more costly care. Older people and their caregivers can get the information and assistance they need from CareLink at 372-5300, toll-free 800-482-6359 or by visiting carelink.org.