For many Iowans, understanding Medicare and related health insurance can be confusing and overwhelming. Where do I start? What are my options? Am I making the right decision? What will it cost me? Is there help if I can’t afford my insurance? If I’m still working do I have to sign up for Medicare?
Trained Iowa SHIIP volunteers can help answer these and other questions about navigating health care insurance options for Iowans on Medicare. The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a free health insurance counseling service of the State of Iowa Insurance Division sponsored locally by UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital.
Could you be a SHIIP volunteer? Across the state, currently more than 350 trained volunteers assist thousands of Iowans each year to understand their Medicare benefits and options through individual counseling sessions, community education, special projects, and making connections in their communities. But more counselors are needed, especially in Dubuque County.
Who makes a good counselor? If you are someone who enjoys tackling new challenges, likes learning new information, gains satisfaction from helping people, has good computer skills, can work with diverse populations, and can be an objective and trusted source of information, this may be great fit for you.
SHIIP provides excellent training and resources to assure SHIIP volunteers are prepared and have the tools they need for the counseling and community education. Volunteers work through local sponsor sites including here at UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital.
The Iowa SHIIP program was created by the State of Iowa in 1990 in response to statewide need for information about Medicare enrollment and other and senior health insurance programs. SHIIP provides free informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance with Medicare coverage, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare Part D Prescription Drug and Medicare Advantage programs, Medicare and insurance claims and other related issues. SHIIP does not recommend insurance companies, plans or agents. Counselors provide impartial information to help people on Medicare make well-informed decisions.
For more information about becoming a SHIIP volunteer counselor go to TheRightCallIowa.gov.