Free Medicare Guidance Offered by SHIIP at Lakes Regional Healthcare

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Street sign with words "advice," "support," "tips," and "guidance" on them

September 25, 2020 – It can cost you money not to review your Medicare Part D drug coverage annually. In one hour a Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselor can complete a review and let you know if you can save money and make sure you have access to the medications you need.


SHIIP counselors Robert Emgarten, Jim Hitchcock, Milo Kindwall, and Betsy Tonsfeldt are available to help anyone newly eligible for Medicare or already on Medicare:

  • Check current Part D or Medicare Advantage plans to make sure medications are covered at the lowest cost and with the least amount of restrictions
  • Review employer drug coverage and compare to other Medicare options
  • Check eligibility for Part D Extra Help
  • Understand options if currently not enrolled in a drug plan


This is a great opportunity for people on Medicare to review and choose what coverage they want for 2021. Every year Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans can change their premiums, deductibles, copayments, benefits, and the drugs they cover. To avoid costly surprises on January 1, a free, confidential counseling appointment with a SHIIP volunteer may be beneficial. SHIIP appointments have been held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in the past two years. However, appointments are now held at Lakes Regional Healthcare. Those with SHIIP appointments are encouraged to enter the hospital through Door A, which is the main door on the west side of the hospital off of Highway 71.


Although counseling services are available year round, the open enrollment period for Part D drug coverage and Medicare Advantage plans runs from October 15 through December 7. Those interested in scheduling an appointment can call 712-336-6698 Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm.


Three forms must be completed before attending the appointment. Those forms are the SHIIP Client Information Form, SHIIP Medicare Comparison Sheet, and SHIIP Prescription Drug List and can be found here.