SHIIP welcomes two new counselors in Winneshiek County

November 11, 2022

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), a free, objective program that supports Iowans in understanding Medicare, has welcomed two new volunteers in Winneshiek County.

Ron Onsager of Decorah is retired from the sales industry, working many years for Weis Buick.  He has held numerous volunteer positions, and is currently serving on the Decorah Zoning Board of Adjustment.  “I enjoy interacting with and helping others and like to have purpose when I volunteer. Helping seniors navigate Medicare is a needed service that I find rewarding.”

Julie Ohde, also of Decorah, chose to volunteer with SHIIP because she likes working with others and solving problems.  She says, “We moved to the area five years ago, and I wanted to get more involved in my community.  As a SHIIP volunteer, I can partner with others in this community to help them save money on prescriptions, along with many other Medicare issues.” Prior to moving to Decorah, Julie worked as the County Conversation Board Director in Louisa County (IA). 

Ron and Julie each completed the State of Iowa SHIIP training in summer of 2022 and are seeing clients at Winneshiek Medical Center. They join current SHIIP volunteers Jim Sims and Karen McLean in serving clients seeking to better understand their Medicare options. 

What is SHIIP?

The Iowa Insurance Division’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is available to offer free, unbiased and confidential assistance to Iowans in this process.  Volunteer counselors can help people understand their Medicare benefits by:

  • Checking a client’s current Part D or Medicare Advantage plan to make sure drugs are covered at the lowest cost and with the least amount of restrictions
  • Reviewing a client’s employer coverage and comparing it to other Medicare options
  • Checking to see if clients are eligible for Part D “Extra Help”
  • Providing education to help clients understand options if not currently on a drug plan

Local Medicare Help

SHIIP counselors review all plans offered and do not promote any particular plan or company.  To help you compare plans during the open enrollment period (now through December 7, 2022), volunteer SHIIP counselors are available by appointment at Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah by calling 563-387-3036.  In person, Zoom and telephone appointments are offered to clients.

For SHIIP support, call Winneshiek Medical Center at 563-387-3036.

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