Are you new to Medicare?

Are you turning 65 soon? Have you been on Social Security Disability for at least two years? Then you are now eligible for Medicare. That means it is time to get familiar with a whole new system. Medicare is a different kind of medical insurance experience with its own vocabulary, rules, and deadlines.

Come to the community room at the Orcas Island Public Library on Monday, August 6th at 10:00 a.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 from the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) who operate under the auspices of the Washington Insurance Commissioner to provide free, unbiased counseling assistance on Orcas Island.

There are lots of new provisions and options for you to understand. Medicare has four different parts: A, B, C, and D. You can stay with Original Medicare (Parts A & 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 & 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 to help people with very low income and limited assets help pay their Medicare premiums, copays and deductibles. The SHIBA volunteers will identify these resources and explain how and when you should apply

SHIBA is a free, unbiased and confidential counseling service offered by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Our trained volunteers help consumers understand their Medicare rights and options. They offer 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. They answer questions, make referrals, help evaluate and compare health insurance policies, make public presentations and more. Call them at 360-376-5892.