SHIIP Helps Sort Out Medicare Options


Our phone has been busy lately with people calling to wish my wife a happy 65th birthday. And while they have her on the line, they’d like to discuss the many advantages they offer with her upcoming Medicare enrollment.

If you listen, it can get bewildering to determine what insurance you need, and what you can live without. Medicare Part A, which is free to most people at age 65, covers hospital bills. Part B is for medical bills and carries a premium. And then there is Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, etc. 

How do you sort it out?

Do some dialing yourself—515-281-5705—to reach SHIIP – the Senior Health Insurance Information Program. Volunteers with SHIIP, which is sponsored by the Iowa Insurance Division, will give you information on all these variations on the Medicare theme.

There are SHIIP offices across the state. They provide one-on-one counseling and routinely host seminars to explain Medicare. In Polk County alone, they will have at least eight more meetings through the end of the year. So call them, or visit to see where the next meeting is. It won’t necessarily be a fun two hours of your time, but good health care solutions start here once you clock through 65.

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