Navigating healthcare benefits through volunteers
“I’ve completed the papers needed to apply for LIS (Low Income Subsidy) which is Extra Help for prescriptions and work is underway for Medicaid thru Social Services. These extra benefits mean Mrs. JP will no longer have to pay $134.00 for Part B Medicare, her Prescription Premium, and she will have a much lower cost for her prescriptions at the Drug store. This is a huge savings (around 400.00 per month) for Mrs. JP. When SHIIP volunteers are involved in helping people in this manner, we realize how important our work is, and pray that SHIIP will be around for many years to come.”
~Carol Canovai, SHIIP Counselor
*In Mrs. JP ‘s case, she is eligible for Medicaid and Extra Help with her prescriptions because she has an income of less than $900 per month.
SHIIP is a free health benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. SHIIPs mission is to educate, advocate, counsel and empower people to make informed healthcare benefit decisions. SHIIP Counseling is available for Alamance County residents through the Burlington Senor Adult Leisure Services located at the Kernodle Senior Activities Center. Volunteers complete extensive training, as the program and context is complex.
The financial support over the last several years from the Community Fund at United Way of Alamance County has helped the SHIIP program to improve health outcomes by providing affordable access to healthcare. The tools used for the SHIIP/Medicare D program, give the counselors the information they need in order to serve the client and that the counselors are making the information as easy to understand as possible and that the enrollee can chose the best health care plan for them.
Last year 1,490 people were reached through the SHIIP program using United Way grant funds.
“During another recent SHIIP counseling session Mr. B shared that he could no longer afford his medications. While we completed Extra Help forms, he told me that his Social Security check had been reduced and he did not know why and that he no longer received Medicaid assistance. After calling Social Services, I learned that Mr. B’s assistance was terminated because he had not returned the necessary renewal form. He guessed that the form must have come to his home during a time he spent in Hospice and must have been thrown away because, “nobody expected me to come home. “ Social Services mailed a new form that we completed on a follow-up appointment. When the funds are reinstated Mr. B will have the money he needs to afford his medicine. “
~Gwen Torain, SHIIP Counselor
United Way of Alamance County works to bring organizations, donors, and volunteers together to align efforts for the most significant impact. By uniting resources to meet focused goals, our community will thrive.
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