LINCOLN – Today, Governor Ricketts and Director of Insurance Bruce Ramge announced that Nebraska’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) has saved Nebraskans with Medicare more than $15 million over the past year. Open enrollment for the 2017 Medicare Part D drug plans began on October 15, 2016 and runs through December 7, 2016.
“Nebraska’s Department of Insurance is helping older and disabled Nebraskans realize substantial savings on healthcare insurance and prescription drug costs,” said Governor Ricketts. “My administration is focused on providing a high level of customer service through programs like SHIIP. I encourage Nebraska seniors purchasing insurance and prescription drug coverage through Medicare to participate in this program to make sure they are getting the best coverage for the lowest cost.”
SHIIP, a federally-funded division of the Nebraska Department of Insurance, educates people about Medicare and empowers older and disabled Nebraskans to make informed decisions about their health insurance. SHIIP-certified counselors can compare an individual’s prescription use to new drug plans, and identify plans offering the best coverage at the lowest cost. The SHIIP-certified counselors also help people apply for Extra Help, a program which provides Medicare drug subsidies for people who have low income and low assets.
“Drug coverage changes every year. People with Medicare should examine their 2016 choices to be sure they have the most affordable plan,” said Director of Insurance Bruce Ramge.
SHIIP offers a variety of services including one-on-one Medicare counseling, a free telephone hotline, website, and public presentations. Between October 2015 and September 2016, SHIIP’s 370 counselors have assisted nearly 32,000 Nebraskans with Medicare-related questions and problems.
“Health needs change, too,” said SHIIP Director Alicia Jones. “That’s why it’s important to evaluate Medicare choices ever year. Medicare and SHIIP provide free counseling so people don’t have to do it alone.”
Nebraskans on Medicare have just a few more days to compare Medicare Part D options for 2017 and switch if a better plan is found. People with Medicare can get free, unbiased information and problem-solving help from Nebraska SHIIP. SHIIP is funded by the federal government to help Nebraskans understand and successfully use Medicare. Contact Nebraska SHIIP, a division of the Nebraska Department of Insurance, at 1-800-234-7119 or www.doi.nebraska.gov/shiip/.