Medicare Basics Workshop

News Release

Mary Loftis

NE Extension Associate and SHIIP Counselor

August 19, 2019


Medicare Basics Workshop

          Have you been receiving an increasingly large amount of Medicare mail lately?

Are you invited to informational meetings hosted by insurance companies? Or maybe there’s a speaker scheduled at your local senior center regarding Medicare insurance options. Whatever the scenario, you are either becoming eligible for Medicare or you might already be on it and it’s getting close to the annual Medicare Open Enrollment period. That makes you a target for anyone selling Medicare associated coverage.

Don’t just throw up your hands in confusion and frustration! You are welcome to attend any of these meetings, but don’t sign up for anything until you visit with someone who has absolutely nothing to gain from the Medicare plan you are considering.

The Nebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) provides free unbiased information from the Nebraska Department of Insurance. SHIIP counselors provide this information to individuals becoming eligible for Medicare and for those already on it who need to compare their drug plan coverage each year.

A Medicare Basics Program will be held Wednesday, September 11. It will be held in Fremont at the Nebraska Extension Office in Dodge County at 1206 West 23rd Street beginning at 7:00 p.m. Mary Loftis, Nebraska Extension Associate and Nebraska SHIIP Counselor will be conducting the program.

Please register by calling the Dodge County Extension Office at 402-727-2775 so enough materials are available. Everyone is welcome to attend so bring a new to Medicare friend with you!

Medicare and Confusion

It’s a confusing time for Medicare recipients. They need to wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun, then they go inside and have to turn on more lights to see. They are told to wear ear plugs to protect their hearing, then need hearing aids in order to hear!

No wonder people are confused when it comes to Medicare…they turned 65 and think they have their insurance figured out because they now qualify for Medicare, but no, here is this annual Medicare Open Enrollment that just adds to the confusion.

Don’t dismay…the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is on its way to ease your confusion and help you make the best use of your health dollars.

SHIIP is part of the Nebraska Department of Insurance and its purpose is to help senior citizens understand the entire Medicare program and offer help comparing and enrolling in different parts of Medicare.

Open Enrollment is from October 15 through December 7 each year. During this time current Medicare recipients may make changes to their health and/or drug plans.

Some Medicare recipients are still working and are covered by their employers insurance. In that case, if they already have prescription drug coverage as good as or better than what Medicare offers they don’t need to do anything until they retire from their job.

Many other Medicare recipients need to take this annual Open Enrollment opportunity to check their health and drug coverage (if they are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan) or just their drug coverage if they have Original Medicare Part A & B, with a supplement.

You won’t know if you could have saved money if you don’t check your prescriptions against the 2015 Medicare Prescription Drug Plans and there are 30 of them to compare against! How can you possibly compare with that many? The easiest way is to call your local University of Nebraska Extension Office and make an appointment to meet with a SHIIP volunteer. These are trained volunteers who are only looking out for you, not any pharmacy, drug or insurance company.

Open Enrollment sessions are scheduled in Fremont this Thursday and Friday, October 23 & 24 from 9:00am-3:00pm at the UNL Extension Office at 1206 West 23rd Street. An enrollment event will also be held in the North Bend Public Library on Thursday, November 6. Call 402-727-2775 for an appointment at either of these Dodge County locations.

Other Medicare comparison events are scheduled in Blair, November 17 and 18 at the UNL Extension office in Washington County at 597 Grant Street. Call 402-426-9455 for an appointment time.

Many Medicare Open Enrollment Events are scheduled in Burt County. To find a date and location that fits your needs call the UNL Extension Office in Burt County at 402-374-2929. Sessions are planned in Craig, Oakland, Lyons, Decatur and Tekamah.

Anyone living anywhere is welcome at any of these events, just call to make an appointment so we have enough computers and volunteers to help.

End your Medicare confusion by attending a Medicare Open Enrollment Comparison Event and make sure you’re not spending more on your prescriptions and/or health care than absolutely necessary.



Mary Loftis,

Extension Assistant
UNL Extension – Burt County
111 North 13th Street, Suite 6
Tekamah, NE 68061
Phone: (402) 374-2929

Fax: (402) 374-2930


Mary Loftis

Mary Loftis

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