TN SHIP Offers Free Counseling on Medicare and Related Health Insurance Issues

January 31, 2011
Dwayne Page
Wanda Poss and Meghian Moore

Got Medicare? Got questions? The Tennessee SHIP program can help.

TN SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program), administered locally by the Upper Cumberland Development District, provides free and objective counseling on Medicare and all related health insurance issues such as Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage, Medicare and Prescription drug costs, Medicare Supplement or Medigap Insurance, Medicare with other insurance, Medicare with TennCare/Medicaid; and Long-Term Care Insurance.

Meghian Moore, SHIP manager from the Upper Cumberland Development District in Cookeville, said many people in DeKalb County may qualify for the low income subsidy. "That's a program to help pay for their Part-D premiums, their co-pays, and their deductibles. It gives them extra help to pay for those items. It also eliminates that famous donut hole. Currently there are 273 people in DeKalb County who possibly qualify but they have not yet applied. You may apply locally at the Senior Center. Wanda Poss has been trained to help you fill out the application. If you can't get to the Senior Center, we have a toll-free number that comes directly to the Cookeville Office. That toll free number is 1-877-801-0044.

Moore added that "The income guidelines to qualify for the extra help with Part-D for a single person is $1,353 per month or for a couple it's $1,821 per month before deductions. Other resources or assets cannot exceed $12,640 for a single person or $25,260 for a couple."

"My program counsels on all Medicare topics so if you're not specifically interested in the low income subsidy, call the toll free number and we can counsel you on drug plans, supplements, or any questions you may have about Medicare. We also have a program called SMP which empowers seniors to prevent fraud. We help identify fraud and report it if we find it", said Moore.

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