SHIBA stands for Senior Health Insurance Benefit Advisors. We are volunteers for the Idaho Department of Insurance. We have nothing to sell and our services are free.
For November, we have 5 different activities going in the Silver Valley (see flyer
For the individualized help with the Medicare Part D-the Prescription Drug Program-we spend about a half hour with each person. We type into the www.medicare.gov website the names, strengths and dosages of the drugs the individual actually takes. Once that information is in there, we have the computer search for all the plans in Idaho that cover these drugs, and sort them by the least expensive plans to the most expensive. (Each company only has to cover two drugs in each drug category-so if a drug insurance company doesn't cover one of the expensive drugs you take, you have to pay for it out-of-pocket.) We then have the individual look at the computer screen and see all the different plans. We ask them which three plans they would like us to compare. When that comparison comes up on the screen, we print it, and give it to the individual. The comparison has the company phone numbers and other information-as well as what they charge for each drug that the individual is prescribed. The person can take the information home to study and they can reach the companies if they want additional information. They can later enroll themselves in the program of their choosing or, if they know what they want while the plans are still up on the screen, we can enroll them. No pressure, it is THEIR choice.
For people planning to come on the 19th to the Osburn VFW, it is highly suggested that they call 208-512-1530 (local call Silver Valley) to get an appointment time. We are expecting a lot of folks and no one wants to sit and wait.
For help with the prescription drug plans, an individual needs their red, white and blue Medicare Card, any other insurance cards, a list of their prescription medications with doses and strengths and perhaps the phone number for their doctor and/or pharmacist in case they need to call for information.
For the Medicare 101 Classes, we provide an objective overview of Medicare benefits, options, and where to turn for help. We discuss Original Medicare Parts A and B, Medigap/Medicare Supplement Insurance, Part C/Medicare Advantage Plans, Part D/Prescription Drug Coverage and Assistance Programs.
If you would like addition information on SHIBA, the office in Coeur d'Alene can be reached at 1-800-488-5725