One Iowa Now Hosting SHIIP Services to Help LGBTQ Iowans Navigate Medicare

One Iowa has been named an official sponsor for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), a service of the State of Iowa. SHIIP volunteer Rick Maruca will use One Iowa’s space and resources to provide free-of-charge counseling and information to people with questions about Medicare, Medicare supplement insurance, long term care insurance, and other health insurance until Medicare’s annual open enrollment period ends on December 7.

“Medicare is complex, and things change every year,” One Iowa Executive Director Daniel Hoffman-Zinnel said. “It can be difficult for people to navigate, and SHIIP volunteers like Rick can help them sort things out.

“Through our work, we know that many LGBTQ Iowans are uncomfortable in the health care system because they feel unsafe or judged for who they are. By hosting SHIIP services, we aim to ease some discomfort by ensuring they have a safe, LGBTQ-friendly resource to turn to for help.”

With these services, SHIIP volunteers can help Iowans solve problems like these:

  • An Iowa woman held three long-term care policies, two Medicare supplement policies and five other health insurance policies of limited coverage. SHIIP reviewed the policies, pointing out duplication. As a result, she canceled several policies and saved $4,431 in insurance premiums annually.
  • A Northeast Iowa man was able to save $5,000 on his prescription drug costs after a SHIIP counselor helped him compare Medicare Part D drug plans.

SHIIP volunteer counselors complete an extensive 6-day training program. Maruca has completed the SHIIP training and is ready to assist individuals. People can make an appointment to meet with Maruca or ask questions by calling 515-612-8222 or emailing [email protected]

The State of Iowa created SHIIP in 1990 in response to the statewide need for senior health insurance information. SHIIP provides free informational materials as well as one-to-one assistance with Medicare coverage, Medicare supplement insurance, long-term care insurance, Medicare and insurance claims and other related issues. SHIIP does not recommend insurance companies, plans or agents. The volunteers, trained by the State of Iowa Insurance Division, answer questions and provide impartial information to help people on Medicare make well-informed decisions.

For more information about SHIIP, contact the Iowa Insurance Division at 515-281-5705.