News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Health & Fitness

November 19, 2013

Seniors encouraged to contact SHIP counselors

TERRE HAUTE — Because of reductions the company recently made to its provider network, seniors who have Medicare Advantage plans with UnitedHealthcare, including those sold through AARP, are encouraged to confirm that their preferred providers will be part of the network throughout 2014.

“Seniors who want to stay with the health care provider they’re currently seeing may be able to do so. I recommend that anyone currently on a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage or AARP plan — or any Medicare Advantage plan — call our SHIP counselors, check whether their doctor will continue to be a part of their plan and learn about their options,” said Indiana Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson.

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program is a free and unbiased counseling program provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance for Medicare beneficiaries in Indiana. SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company and is staffed by a crew of volunteer counselors.

“Our counselors attend semi-annual training events and have up-to-date information available regarding Medicare coverage options,” said Cheryl St. Clair, SHIP director. “I encourage everyone who is unsure about their Medicare decisions to call for help.”

Medicare Advantage plans are different than traditional Medicare plans, because members are restricted to the doctors who participate in their network. Thus, it is critical that seniors understand their options during the Medicare open enrollment period, which ends Dec. 7.

Although SHIP counselors can be found statewide, SHIP’s central office can be reached at 800-452-4800. Visit www.medicare.IN.gov.

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