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OPINION

Health and Wellness: SHIIP phone volunteers

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Public Health
Perry Chief

Enrolling in Medicare or making changes to your plan can be complicated. The SHIIP (Senior Health Insurance Information Program) provides Medicare counselors who are highly trained volunteers. SHIIP services are free of charge.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SHIIP counselors are currently meeting with clients over the phone, by email and mail. You may still ask all of your questions and get accurate information from a counselor who takes the time to listen to your particular situation. Your private information is guarded. Because SHIIP counselors aren’t employed by private insurance companies, they are able to help you look at all options, from any insurance provider. Quite often, after meeting with a SHIIP counselor, retirees report that by selecting a different plan, they have a big savings in premiums and/or co-pays.

The SHIIP program is always looking for new volunteers. If you are interested in helping, or at least finding out more, go to https://shiip.iowa.gov/be-part-of-shiip/be-a-shiip-volunteer.

SHIIP counselors are typically of retirement age, and some have a background in finance or insurance, but that isn’t required. Good SHIIP counselors can be trusted with private information, can work with a variety of people, and have good computer skills, including internet.