Signing up for Medicare can be a daunting subject for seniors and their caregivers. That’s why Bureau County Senior Center, in Princeton, serves as an official SHIP site, to help make the transition to Medicare a little less complicated. SHIP, or Senior Health Insurance Program, is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficaires and their caregivers.
If you’re turning 65 soon, you should get your Medicare card in the mail about four months before your birthday. Since Medicare covers only 80 percent of your medical costs, seniors are encouraged to purchase supplemental insurance to cover the other 20 percent.
SHIP counselors are trained to:
- Educate consumers and answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement, long term care insurance, Medicare HMOs, private fee-for-service and other health insurance
- Organize and assist in filing Medicare and Medicare Supplement claims; and
- Analyze Medicare Supplement and long term care policies.
“There are three of us in our office who are ble to help assist clients with comparisons for insurance,” said Denise ihrig, director of the Bureau County Senior Center. “We can compare plans for Medicare Part D and we assist clients with signing up for benefit access.”
Additional information on SHIP:
- SHIP works closely with the Illinois Department on Aging to provide access to SHIP counseling services through the Area Agency on Aging network of offices throughout the state;
- SHIP outreaches to Medicare beneficiaries by participating in health fairs, senior fairs, the Illinois State Fair and the Governor's Conference on Aging.
- SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company.
- SHIP counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance
To make an appointment contact Ellen Martin, Bureau County Senior Center, at (815) 879-3981. Consultations can take place in the office or by phone, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.