If you look for books about Medicare on Amazon, more than 8,000 titles pop up, from Medicare for Dummies and Medicare Demystified to Medicare Breakdown: The Alphabet Soup of Medicare. Navigating that alphabet soup and its myriad plans, supplements and costs is complex and, for many, intimidating. Fortunately, people taking on that task can turn to the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) and the volunteers who staff it, including personnel of the DMU Clinic. This summer, the clinic received the 2022 Governor’s Volunteer Award for 15 years of service to the program.
“SHIIP volunteers are dedicated and tenacious individuals who are committed to serving Medicare beneficiaries,” says Kristin Griffith, director of SHIIP and the Senior Medical Patrol (SMP) program. “Without their support and enthusiasm, SHIIP/SMP services would not be possible. Their role as volunteer counselors truly makes a difference in the lives of the clients served.”
SHIIP is a free, objective and confidential service offered through the state of Iowa to help people sort through confusing information about Medicare and health insurance. Its trained, certified volunteer counselors assist thousands of Iowans annually, helping them save millions of dollars.
“SHIIP/SMP counselors help Iowans save money on prescriptions and offer a lifeline to those needing extra help to cover their bills,” Kristin adds. “They provide peace of mind by ensuring clients have the information needed to select the health insurance products that meet their needs, as well as support and education to address Medicare fraud and abuse.”
Helping older adults achieve that peace of mind is consistent with the DMU Clinic’s mission of providing truly patient-centered care that emphasizes wellness and prevention, says Philip Blumberg, M.H.A., the clinic’s executive director.
“DMU is honored to be recognized by the State of Iowa, and we’re pleased to continue our partnership with SHIIP,” he says. “Choosing an insurance plan is complicated, and it’s a simple decision to work with SHIIP in providing education and guidance to help seniors in our community select the Medicare plan that is right for them.”
The Governor’s Volunteer Awards program was created in 1982 as a small program available only to state government agencies. It expanded over the years to enable all Iowa nonprofit, charitable and government organizations to honor their volunteers with a prestigious state-level award recognizing their service. The program is coordinated by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service and the Governor’s Office.