Maui News

State Provides Free Help with Medicare Enrollment Decisions

June 17, 2021, 3:28 PM HST
* Updated June 17, 10:23 AM
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2018 File Photo: medicare.gov.

The Hawaiʻi State Health Insurance Assistance Program and the SHIP National Technical Center are providing free Medicare enrollment help through its Welcome to Medicare Virtual Fair event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 23, 2021. Participants may attend for any length of time.

“Are you turning age 65 soon? Learn about signing up for Medicare from the comfort of your home or office. The Hawaiʻi State Health Insurance Assistance Program is here to help you navigate the complexities of Medicare and avoid late enrollment penalties. If you are becoming eligible for Medicare because of a disability, this event is for you, too.”

During the pandemic, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs are providing local, trusted and unbiased Medicare help in safe and socially distanced ways.

This event is government funded and there is no cost to attend part or all of the virtual fair. There will be general sessions with expert presenters on Medicare eligibility, enrollment, costs and coverage options. The general sessions will offer subtitles in English and a live transcript in Spanish. The event will also feature state-specific virtual exhibits and the opportunity to chat with local staff about how the SHIP program can help with individual Medicare enrollment questions. Join from your computer or mobile device anytime between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. HST.

Hawaiʻi SHIP is part of the national SHIP network, funded by the US Administration for Community Living, Office of Healthcare Information and Counseling. In Hawai‘i, SHIP goes by Hawai‘i SHIP. In other states, SHIP services may be provided under other names, such as CHOICES, HICAP, SHINE or an Area Agency on Aging. Regardless of the name, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs share a national mission: to empower, educate and assist Medicare-eligible individuals, their families and caregivers through objective outreach, counseling and training to make informed health insurance decisions that optimize access to care and benefits.

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SHIP experts will explain who is eligible for Medicare and when, how to sign up for Medicare and what to do if you are still working when you are eligible for Medicare. They will also discuss Medicare costs, especially the importance of avoiding late enrollment penalties. Learn how to navigate your Medicare coverage options and how Medicare works with other insurances, such as employer insurance, Medigap supplemental insurance and retiree insurance.

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At any time during the virtual fair, visit the Hawaiʻi SHIP exhibit and learn about what to consider when making your individual Medicare enrollment decisions or when helping a friend or loved one make their Medicare enrollment decisions. Medicare-certified counselors will be available to answer general questions face-to-face through Zoom. You can also watch short, pre-recorded videos on aspects of Medicare or download educational materials.

The event will conclude with national presenters discussing the federal government’s role in Medicare, avoiding Medicare fraud and the available Medicare assistance programs that help with Medicare costs.

Visit SHIP online to register and to see more event details.

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