SHIIP saves Medicare beneficiaries millions in NC

Published 4:54 pm Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Polk County residents saved $464,820

North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is proud to announce that the efforts of the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) county coordinating sites helped North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries save more than $44 million in 2016.

SHIIP, a division of the N.C. Department of Insurance, trains coordinators and volunteers at partnering agencies across the state to provide free, unbiased counseling about Medicare in their communities. 

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Polk County residents also benefit from unbiased counseling from Pam Doty, manager for senior services which includes the Meeting Place in Columbus, the center at Green Creek, and the center in Saluda. She is assisted by Polk County’s SHIIP coordinator Donna Carson who also serves as supervisor for the Saluda Senior Center. In 2016, the SHIIP counselors at these locations assisted 413 consumers in Polk County, and saved Polk County residents $464,820.

SHIIP counselors can help Medicare beneficiaries compare Part D Prescription Drug Plans each year during the Open Enrollment Period, Oct. 15 – Dec. 7, to determine the most affordable plan that meets their needs in the coming year. SHIIP can also help people apply for the Extra Help low-income subsidy and other Medicare cost-savings programs.

“This service is just one of the many benefits we provide in the community. We strive to reach as many consumers as possible, we hope by getting the word out early we will be able to increase the number assisted this year,” said Pam Doty, senior services manager.

If you have questions about Medicare or Extra Help, contact SHIIP at 855-408-1212 to speak with a trained counselor or find contact information for your county’s SHIIP counseling site. SHIIP can answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage and long term care insurance. SHIIP also helps citizens recognize and prevent Medicare billing errors and possible fraud and abuse through our N.C. Senior Medicare Patrol program.

– article submitted by Joshua Kennedy