SHIIP Volunteers Available From Genesis
Where can I go to find information about Medicare prescription drug plans? Are mammograms covered by Medicare Part B? What is a Medicare Advantage plan?
I’m turning 65, who can help me understand Medicare?
Answers to these questions can be found by meeting with the Senior Health
Insurance information Program (SHIIP) volunteers at Genesis Health System, West Central Park. Appointments can be scheduled with Genesis SHIIP counselors by calling (563) 421-1096.
The Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) talks to thousands of Iowans every year about enrolling in Medicare.
“There is a lot of information for Iowans to digest when they are deciding whether to enroll in Medicare,” said Kris Gross, Iowa director of SHIIP. “The top two misconceptions we hear from Iowans are that there is a requirement to sign up for Medicare Part A at age 65 and to enroll in Medicare Part B even if the person is continuing to work and has employer health insurance. Neither is true.”
Iowans with questions about Medicare may call SHIIP at 800-351-4664 (TTY 800-735-2942) or visit www.therightcalliowa.gov.
SHIIP counselors are available at Genesis to help answer your questions and assist with problems you have concerning Medicare and related health insurance. All services are free, confidential and objective.
Correct information about the top two misconceptions that SHIIP hears from Iowans are below.
Misconception: You’re required to sign up for Medicare Part A at age 65.
This is not true.
If you or your spouse continue to work and have insurance from this work, you are not required to enroll in Medicare. Medicare Part A is free for most people because of their FICA contributions while employed. For this reason, people usually sign up for Part A when they become eligible.
However, since Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) with high deductible health plans have become more popular as an employee health benefit, automatically signing up for Part A needs to be reconsidered and may not be in your best interest. A Genesis SHIIP volunteer can provide more information.
Misconception: I need to enroll in Medicare Part B even if I continue to work and have employer health insurance.
Also not true.
A person who is actively employed with health insurance from that employer can delay enrolling in Medicare Part B without a penalty until they quit working — no matter the employer size. Large employers must pay primary (first) while the person is working and Medicare pays secondary. Small employers do not have to pay primary.
Often workers are told the small employer insurance will continue to cover them, not understanding that the language in their employer health insurance may require they enroll in Medicare.
If they don’t, the policy will pay secondary to Medicare even if they don’t enroll. It is very important to talk to the insurance company providing your employer coverage to verify if Medicare enrollment is necessary because the plan will only pay after Medicare pays.
Genesis SHIIP volunteers provide free informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance with questions and problems related to Medicare benefits, Medicare supplement insurance, Medicare and insurance claims and other related issues.
SHIIP volunteers do not recommend insurance companies, plans or agents; the volunteers answer questions and provide impartial information to help Iowans on Medicare make well-informed decisions.
SHIIP assistance also is available at the Rock Island County Senior Center at (309) 788-6335 and at the Western Illinois Area Agency on Aging at (309) 793-6800.