Dozens of seniors visited an Anchorage church hall of nearly 200 people and told their horror stories about Medicare to an interfaith panel Monday night.
The group Anchorage Faith and Action Congregations Together decided to hold the meeting, at the Lutheran Church of Hope on Northern Lights Boulevard, after hearing numerous concerns about the lack of access seniors have to Medicare clinics in Anchorage.
“The senior population is growing and the capacity isn't growing fast enough,” said AFACT leader Dahana Graham. “The other issue is what rights I have as a Medicare insured patient."
Access is an issue for Rita Hatch, an advocate for the Older Persons Action Group.
She says it takes her weeks to get an appointment at one of the three clinics, like the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center, that accept Medicare patients in Anchorage.
If a health issue comes up before then, she has to fend for herself.
“Yeah, I have one right now, but I didn't know what to do about it," Hatch said. "I could make an appointment, but I might not see anyone for a month."
Hatch says she would like to see more walk-in clinics take Medicare, and increased public transportation to clinics that do accept Medicare.
"For the new Medicare clinic on Old Seward, they have a bus stop right out in front,” said Graham. “It has been an issue to get a bus stop at the neighborhood clinic on Airport Heights and C Street.”
Channel 2 originally reported the Anchorage Neighborhood Health Center would be holding a celebration for its new facility Sunday. That celebration will be taking place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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