Collier Senior Center program helps with medical expenses

A new program in Collier County is helping seniors pay their pricey medical expenses.

Many people who have to see doctors and specialists regularly struggle to make ends meet.

“My co-payment is $250, and that’s a lot for me to pay,” said Gisela Concepion.

She’s been battling heart problems and ends up seeing a cardiologist about once a month, causing her medical bills to add up over the years.

“My income is low,” she says, which means it’s a a problem that’s only going to get worse. And she’s not alone.

A new report from the Federal Reserve finds four in ten adults don’t have enough money saved to cover an unexpected medical expense of $400, leaving them with an empty wallet.

“We’re helping to make a difference,” said Tatiana Fortune, the director of the Collier Senior Center.

The center offers a program that gives up to $300 one time to seniors in need.

“If someone had a medical emergency or crisis and they had to use funds from their fixed income, that puts them behind,” said Fortune.

Especially for low-income seniors like Concepion.

And so far, the center has helped about 40 people with things like prescriptions an eyeglasses.

They can also help provide durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers and small appliances.

“It’s a joy to bring relief and to help improve quality of life -that’s why I enjoy doing what I do,” Fortune said.

Relief that people like Concepion are thankful for.

“The program solved my problem,” she said.

To learn more about the program, you can visit the Collier Senior Center website or give them a call at (239) 252-4541.

Reporter:Channing Frampton
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