SHIIP helps North Carolina Medicare beneficiaries save money

Published 7:47 am Wednesday, July 6, 2022

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By Olivia Patchel, Currituck Extension

Many retirees and Medicare beneficiaries on a fixed income want to save money wherever they can. Each year, thousands of people contact the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) throughout the state to help them identify savings in their Medicare coverages.

Throughout the year, but particularly during the Medicare Open Enrollment period from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, Medicare beneficiaries are urged to compare their current coverage for the Part D prescription drug plan to determine if their current plan is still the most appropriate for the coming year. Each year formularies change, prices change and programs change and many times the Medicare beneficiary is unaware of the differences.

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In 2021, SHIIP and its coordinating sites statewide assisted 58,000 consumers, saving them $30 million. In addition, nearly 1,500 consumers received assistance applying for the Extra Help program.

In Currituck County, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program is housed at the NC Cooperative Extension Office. This year volunteers and paid staff counselors met with 233 Medicare beneficiaries saving these beneficiaries a total of $72,460 in insurance premiums and drug costs.

If you have questions about Medicare or the Extra Help program, contact your local SHIIP at 1-855-408-1212 to speak with a trained counselor or to request a free brochure. Contact information for local coordinating sites in each county in North Carolina can be found by visiting In Currituck County, contact the Currituck County Extension Office at 252-232-2261.

For more information about scheduling an appointment or being a SHIIP volunteer, contact Olivia Patchel via email or phone at 252-232-2261.