By Libby Smith

DENVER (CBS4) – Medicare enrollment is an important and confusing time for many older adults. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, offers free unbiased advice for finding the right Medicare supplemental insurance.

(credit: CBS)

“An Advantage plan is a plan that bundles together your Part A, which is your hospital, your Part B, which is your medical and then your Part D, which is your prescription, so they bundle it all into one plan,” said Lauren Bell, a counselor with SHIP.

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Bell and several other staff and volunteers work the phones for SHIP, which is a program run by Denver Regional Council of Governments, or DRCOG. They answer questions about Medicare coverage all year round, but enrollment is a particularly busy time of year.

“I think it’s really important to get a second opinion. We have people who often, sometimes they do it themselves, and then they call just to get a second opinion,” Bell explained.

Karen Bowman (credit CBS)

Karen Bowman is looking forward to walking through the whole process with a SHIP counselor.

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“I’m really excited about the possibility of having someone who has no agenda walk through programs with me, and help me make an informed choice,” Bowman told CBS4.

She and her husband have had Medicare insurance for years, but her situation has changed. She’s hoping to get the coverage she and her husband needs and to save some money in the process.

“I don’t need to be sold.  I need to be given information, so that I can make my own informed decision. And I need someone patient because a lot of this is very confusing,” Bowman said.

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The deadline for Medicare enrollment is December 7th. The number for the SHIP program is 1-888-696-7213 or go to the Website.

Libby Smith