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New SHIIP counselor offering Medicare information

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013 11:18 a.m. CDT

Where can I go to find answers about the Medicare prescription drug plans? Are mammograms covered by Medicare Part B? What is a Medicare Advantage plan? I’m turning 65 — who can help me understand Medicare?

Answers to these questions can be found by meeting with the new Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) volunteers at Skiff Medical Center. Carol Jones from Newton recently completed the six-day extensive training program conducted by the State of Iowa Insurance Division.

SHIIP was created in 1990 in response to the statewide need for senior health insurance information. SHIIP provides free informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance with questions and problems related to Medicare benefits, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare and insurance claims and other related issues. SHIIP does not recommend insurance companies, plans or agents; the volunteers answer questions and provide impartial information to help Iowans on Medicare make well-informed decisions.

The local SHIIP office has been located at Skiff Medical Center for about 20 years and is located on the third floor. SHIIP volunteers arrange one-on-one appointments to review each client’s prescription drug regimen and, using an Internet-based Medicare program, they find the plan that provides the most affordable coverage for each client. The counseling sessions last from 30 minutes to two hours.

People wishing to schedule an appointment with a SHIIP counselor should call (641) 792-4988.