Chesterton Tribune



Assistance available for seniors enrolling in 2020 Medicare plans

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Valparaiso seniors who need assistance navigating the 2020 Medicare plan options can meet with a SHIP counselor at the Porter County Aging and Community Services offices, 1005 Campbell St. in Valparaiso.

Trained State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) volunteers will offer one-on-one guidance and assistance on what Medicare plans fit best. Appointments can be made by calling (219) 464-1028 or e-mailing

SHIP coordinator Ginger Brockwehl said that reviewing plans and making changes as needed is an annual necessity during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which wraps up Dec. 7.

“It’s always helpful to review your plan every year to see if there is a better plan at a lower cost, if there’s a different plan with more benefits or to confirm your plan is still the best for you,” Brockwehl said. “It’s important to verify that all of your medications are going to be covered and project your costs for next year. You don’t want to go to the pharmacy in January or February and find out that a medication has been dropped by your plan or that the cost has gone up.”

SHIP counselors have updated training twice a year on any changes and new volunteers have four to five days of training.

“Our clients are meeting with a counselor who has experience and knowledge and has access to resources to answer any questions,” Brockwehl added. “A lot of our clients don’t use a computer or some come in and have done a review at home and want to meet with us for a second opinion.”

Brockwehl said that those who already have a log-in and password should bring that information to an appointment along with current Medicare or other health insurance cards and a list of current prescriptions or the actual medication bottles.

“To me, the choices people make about Medicare coverage are among the most important decisions in their retirement life,” Brockwehl said. “No one wants to spend more money than they need to.”

For more information on SHIP, visit



Posted 11/12/2019




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