Hickory – Many retirees and Medicare beneficiaries are on a fixed income and want to save money wherever they can. Each year, thousands of people contact SHIIP throughout the state to help them identify savings in their Medicare coverages.
In 2019, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), along with the SHIIP coordinating sites statewide, assisted 79,394 consumers saving them $54 million. In Catawba County, the Catawba County Council on Aging SHIIP counseling locations had 1640 contacts with consumers and assisted consumers in saving $2,106,572.
Throughout the year, but particularly during the Medicare Open Enrollment period from October 15 through December 7, Medicare beneficiaries are urged to compare their current coverage for the Part D Prescription Drug plan to determine if their current plan is still the most appropriate for the coming year. Each year formularies change, prices change and programs change and many times the Medicare beneficiary is unaware of the differences.
If you have questions about Medicare or the Extra Help program, contact SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 to speak with a trained counselor or to request a free brochure. Contact information for local coordinating sites in each county in North Carolina can be found by visiting www.ncshiip.com. In Catawba County call 828-328-2269 to arrange for an appointment.
SHIIP is a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s Consumer Assistance Group that assists people with Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare supplement, Medicare Advantage and Long-Term care insurance questions. We also help citizens recognize and prevent Medicare billing errors and possible fraud and abuse through our N.C. Senior Medicare Patrol program.
SHIIP counselors are not licensed insurance agents, and they do naaot sell, endorse, or oppose any product, plan, or company. If you have questions about your specific plan, we encourage you to contact your insurance agent or the insurance company.