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Home > Patients & Visitors > Billing & Insurance > Using Medicare > Senior Health Insurance Information Program
Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a statewide initiative that helps Medicare beneficiaries evaluate and better understand coverage options.
SHIIP counselors are volunteers who meet face-to-face with those wading through what can often be an overwhelming maze of possibilities. Together, they compare the beneficiary’s health needs against Medicare’s myriad of policy options to find the plan(s) that best meet health needs in the most cost-effective way, helping beneficiaries make informed decisions about their insurance coverage. SHIIP counselors also investigate Medicare denials, when need be, to help determine if an appeal is needed and offer assistance in that process.
There are SHIIP locations in almost every county throughout Iowa, making it easier for SHIIP counselors to connect beneficiaries to services in a location close to his or her home. Four SHIIP offices are in the Cedar Rapids metro, one of which is located in Mercy’s 600 Building. During Medicare’s 2015 open enrollment period — Oct. 15 through Dec. 7 annually — Mercy’s SHIIP volunteers were able to save beneficiaries more than $439,000.
SHIIP volunteers meet with individuals who are soon-to-turn 65 or who have recently turned 65 and will be enrolling in Medicare for the first time; established beneficiaries curious about different coverage options that may better meet their needs; family caregivers thinking ahead for their loved one; adult children helping their parents understand Medicare choices; and many other scenarios. One need not wait until the open enrollment period to begin thinking about Medicare coverage; SHIIP volunteers are available by appointment year-round and their service is 100% free.
If you or someone you know may benefit from a conversation with a SHIIP volunteer at the Mercy location, call (319) 861-7887 to arrange a visit with one of our volunteer counselors. Mercy’s SHIIP office is accessible through the 600 Building’s 8th Street Entrance. Reserved parking for SHIIP visitors is available in front of the entrance.