State counseling programs help you navigate Medicare
During Medicare Open Enrollment, figuring out which plans are best for your older adult can seem like navigating an impossible maze.
Fortunately, free state counseling programs are available to help you understand which Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap, and Medicaid benefits will work best for their situation. These government counseling programs are generally called SHIP, which stands for State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs.
Anyone who would like Medicare advice can call a SHIP counselor for free – even if your older adult isn’t currently enrolled.
Expert Medicare advice saves time and money
Choosing the right Medicare plan is a time-consuming task. Even after studying the available plans, reviewing the latest drug formularies, and estimating next year’s medical needs, it’s still hard to know if you’re choosing the best possible plan for your older adult.
This is where a SHIP counselor can really help. They’re experts in Medicare and Medicaid plans and can guide to you smart options for your senior’s specific situation.
For example, a California HICAP program manager told us that she’s often able to save people hundreds and thousands of dollars just by helping them choose the right prescription drug plan!
Programs can have different names in different states
We refer to these programs as SHIP, but some states use different names. Despite the name differences, the counseling services are the same.
Some of the more common program names across U.S. states are: SHIIP, SHINE, SHIBA, or HICAP.
Get started with a SHIP counselor
To find a SHIP counselor in your area, visit the National SHIP home page to find your state’s SHIP website and phone number.
Then, call them directly or browse the state website to find a program office near you.
To get expert help finding the best Medicare health and drug plans for your older adult, contact your local SHIP office. You could save a lot of money on next year’s healthcare costs by finding plans that cover more and provide better value.
By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Image: Walden Wealth Partners Wealthwise Blog