SHIIP Volunteers Ready to Assist with Medicare Open Enrollment

SHIIP Volunteers  Ready to Assist with Medicare Open Enrollment

It’s that time of year again, Medicare Open Enrollment, the only time that those eligible for Medicare have the opportunity to review and adjust their plans. Open Enrollment takes place from October 15 to December 7, and The Family Resource Center is taking appointments for seniors to meet with SHIIP representatives who offer advice in choosing the best fitting prescription plan and to answer questions. Because drug plans are everchanging, having a guide to help you navigate these changes can be very helpful. 

This is Jim Solomon’s fifth year volunteering as a SHIIP counselor. Last year, he met with 176 people, helping them save a total of $156,862. We are pleased to announce that Deb Hogan has completed training and will be joining Jim to serve area seniors in reviewing their plans. Jim will mentor and work directly with Deb and the client when she is first starting.  Deb  retired from the insurance industry, and wants to give back as a volunteer. “Jim put in long hours last year, and I am happy to partner with him and work together to serve the communities.” Deb replied. 

Kari Harbaugh, Family Resource Coordinator, says, “We are very grateful for the dedication and hours of service these volunteers donate to assisting our clients.”

There is no charge for consultation with Jim or Deb. If they don’t have the answer, SHIIP counselors have a direct connection to the state to get the answer. They offer a flexible schedule, and welcome clients from other communities, too. 

SHIIP counselors will assist you with these three important things during Medicare Open Enrollmnent:

  • Review  your plan notice. Read any notices from  your Medicare plan about changes for next year—especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Review your plan’s information to make sure the prescriptions you use are still covered and your medical providers and pharmacy are still in network.
  • Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Does your current plan best meet your needs?
  • Shop for the plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. Compare plans even if you’ve been satisfied with your current plan. The coverage and costs for plans can change from year to year. 

To make an appointment, call the Family Resource Center at 563-252-3215. SHIIP is a free, confidential service of the State of Iowa. SHIIP counselors review all plans offered and do not promote any particular plan or company. Please bring your Medicare card and your present list of prescription drugs to your appointment.