SHIBA returns to Orcas to answer Medicare questions

  • Sun Dec 2nd, 2018 1:30am
  • Life

Turning 65 soon? Been on Social Security Disability for at least two years? Then you are about to become part of Medicare and that much of what you know about health insurance is about to become irrelevant. Medicare is a different medical insurance experience with its own vocabulary, rules and deadlines.

Join the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors in the Community Room at the Orcas Island Public Library on Wednesday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 p.m. to learn how Medicare works, what your coverage options are in San Juan County, and when you must act to avoid penalties. The information will be provided by trained volunteers who operate under the auspices of the Washington Insurance Commissioner to provide free, unbiased counseling assistance on Orcas Island.

There are many new terms for you to understand and options to choose among. Medicare has four different parts: A, B, C and D. You can stay with original Medicare (Parts A and B) or buy a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C) or a Medicare supplement (also called Medigap), which is private insurance that works with Parts A and B. Most people also buy drug insurance (Part D). There are deadlines to meet and penalties (some lasting a lifetime) for not doing things at the right time. All of those will be explained and your questions answered at this free presentation.

There are resources available in Washington to help people with very low income and limited assets pay their Medicare premiums, copays and deductibles. The Orcas SHIBA volunteers will identify these resources and explain how and when you should apply

SHIBA assistance is free, unbiased and confidential. SHIBA volunteers provide individual counseling services offered through the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The highly trained volunteers help consumers understand their Medicare rights and options. SHIBA offers information on Medigap (Medicare Supplement) and Medicare Advantage plans, Medicaid programs, employment-related health benefits, long-term care options, fraud and abuse, and much more. Volunteers can answer your questions, make referrals to other resources when appropriate, help evaluate and compare health insurance policies and much more. Call the local SHIBA office at 360-376-5892 to schedule your free personal, confidential, unbiased counseling session