CRMC has been a sponsor since the program was created in 1990 in response to the statewide need for senior insurance information. Cherokee Regional Medical Center is pleased to provide both staff and volunteers to assist individuals, in Cherokee county and the surrounding area, with any questions or problems they may have regarding their Medicare coverage.
One such volunteer, Mike Otto of Paullina, encourages everyone eligible for Medicare to utilize the free SHIIP services available at CRMC and in particular, the Medicare Part D plan comparisons currently being offered at the hospital.
According to Otto, statewide records show that 85 percent of the people who take time to go through a Part D plan comparison will save money. "So far, Cherokee is right in line with the state numbers as about 90% of those I have assisted with Medicare Part D drug plan comparisons will save money next year by switching plans. I even had one client who will save over $5,000 by switching. Savings like that are hard to ignore," said Otto.
Since Otto takes a number of brand-name prescription drugs himself, he compared plans. "When I completed a comparison using my own prescriptions, I saw a large disparity in plan costsÍ Well above $10,000 annually in my situation," explained Otto. "I can't take a chance with that kind of money involved."
While the disparity of costs for most people will not be as significant as his own case, Otto thinks it is worth the time for everyone to complete a plan comparison. "Most people will see a savings of $100 or less, but where else can a retired person earn $100 or more for a half-hour's work?" asked Otto.
In addition to Medicare Part D plan comparisons, the SHIIP counselors at Cherokee Regional Medical Center can provide 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.
For more information regarding the SHIIP program, you may call a local counselor, located at Cherokee Regional Medical Center, at (712) 225-3368, Ext. 281.