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SHIIP counselors offer Medicare information in Grundy County

October 29, 2017
Reinbeck Courier

GCMH SHIIP counselors saved my husband and me an estimated $2,000 in prescription drug cost for 2018," shares Mary Gayle Stowe. "I had already logged onto the Medicare website and knew I could enroll us again on my own, but making an appointment with the SHIIP counselors at GCMH proved to be very advantageous for us. What we didn't know was that our prescription drug plan was planning a change in drug coverage for 2018 that would cost us thousands of dollars more out of pocket. Ruth and Cathy, the SHIIP counselors, spoke with us about our prescription drugs and other health habits. We changed our prescription drug plan because of our meeting with them and as a result will save thousands of dollars next year. I encourage anyone to make an appointment with a SHIIP counselor. These volunteer counselors go through extensive training each year to stay current on all of the Medicare updates and changes their expertise is amazing and the service is free!"

Trained volunteers offer Medicare beneficiaries help with Medicare enrollment through the 2017 Open Enrollment season, now through December 7. Two volunteers, Cathy Harness and Ruth VanDeest, are trained Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors, through the state's Insurance Division.

Cathy and Ruth take appointments on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Grundy County Memorial Hospital. Appointments are necessary and may be made by phoning GCMH Scheduling at (319) 824-5081 or (888) 824-5081.

The SHIIP counselors are able to assist anyone who has questions or problems related to Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, long term care insurance and related issues. Depending on changes to health or prescription medications, Medicare recipients may benefit from a switch in their supplemental coverage from year to year. GCMH is pleased that we are able to offer this program to area senior citizens, thanks to the dedication and willingness of Cathy and Ruth serve as SHIIP volunteers!

SHIIP, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program, 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.



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