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Trisha Torrey

Need Help with Medicare Choices? SHIP Advice to the Rescue

By October 25, 2012

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(Updated October 2013)

Medicare Open Enrollment, which began October 15 and will run through December 7th, strikes fear into the hearts of many Seniors and younger, disabled people who are eligible for Medicare.

Among the questions: should I use original Medicare? or should I use a Medicare Advantage Plan? Maybe original Medicare with a Medigap Plan? What about my Part D coverage?


What many people don't realize is that there are people - objective, knowledgeable, helpful people - who can help them walk through the possibilities, addressing their own individual insurance needs, finding the best plan for the best price for them...


The programs are called SHIP programs (State Health Insurance Programs.) They are administered state-by-state, and are federally funded. They may be staffed by well-trained volunteers, and in every case, they are objective because they do not work for, or get paid by, or are at all beholden to the private insurance companies that offer many of the possible plans.

If you are a Medicare beneficiary, then here is some information that you may find useful to help you select the right options during this year's Open Enrollment:

Learn about your state's SHIP program and how to contact a SHIP counselor

Learn the basics of Medicare so you can understand the questions they ask you.

Brush up on what you need to know for your 2013 selections during this year's Medicare Open Enrollment

Learn the differences among original Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans and Medigap insurance policies.

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Agree? Disagree?
Share your experience or join the conversation!


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