Medicare 101: Your Questions Answered

Are you confused by Medicare?

Are you turning 65 soon?

Do Medicare, Medigap and Medicare Advantage mean the same thing to you?

If your answer to any of these questions is YES, attend a free presentation on Medicare at the San Juan Island Public Library Community Meeting Room Friday, July 22, from 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Medicare can be very confusing. A trained SHIBA volunteer will explain how Medicare works and then answer all the questions that you have.

When you turn 65 or have been disabled for more than two years, you enter a new insurance scheme with its own vocabulary and its own set of rules. Our SHIBA presentation will help unravel the confusion around Medicare Parts A, B, C and D and help you understand what your Medicare coverage options are and when you can select, or change, your coverage.

There are penalties for not enrolling for coverage when you are first eligible and this presentation will explain what these penalties are and how you can avoid them. If your income and resources are limited, the presentation will also cover programs available through Social Security and the State of Washington that can help pay some (or most) of your medical costs.

Many people find Medicare insurance coverage options very confusing. That is why there is a SHIBA (or SHIP) program in each of the 50 states. Trained SHIBA volunteers help people sort through their Medicare questions and options and choose the coverage that is right for them.

In Washington, SHIBA volunteers are selected and trained through the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. They provide free, confidential and unbiased counseling in an office setting. On San Juan Island, the SHIBA program is sponsored by Island Hospital. Individual appointments with a SHIBA volunteer can be made by calling 378-7144 and asking for the SHIBA office.