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Medicare’s Alphabet Soup

Making sense of medicare

Have you encountered the alphabet soup that is Medicare? Whether checking it out for yourself or for someone for whom you are a caregiver, you were probably overwhelmed by the confusing terms associated with Medicare. Adding to the confusion are the many acronyms and references to Part A and Plan A, Medicare supplements and Medigaps. Do these terms mean the same things? (The short answer is no for Part A and Plan A, and yes for Medicare supplements and Medigaps.)

Rather than wading througha confusing list of ingredients, why not turn to a reputable source that can help you turn Medicare into a rich, nourishing broth –the Idaho Department of Insurance’s Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) program. SHIBA is jointly funded by the state and federal governments to assist people with Medicare and is a free, unbiased source of reliable information about Medicare that utilizes a trained groupof volunteers in communities throughout Idaho.

SHIBA can help make sense of the Medicare stew in three ways:

  • We can explain each ingredient and why it is important.
  • Our counselors help you choose only the ingredients you need, and eliminate unnecessary expense.
  • When something goes wrong, we can help sort out the recipe, filing appeals or questioning charges.

We offer classes throughout Idaho to help people better understand Medicare, the language of Medicare, and the timeframes that need to be observed to make the process work best. These classes are available for people new to Medicare, caregivers, or people who just want to understand this complex topic better.

In addition to classes, we offer one-on-one counseling to help you apply Medicare information to your own situation or to that of someone for whom you provide care. In these counseling sessions we will look at the health situations you are dealing with, the medications you take, what type of coverage makes the most sense for you, whether you are eligible for programs to assist you with the costs of your Medicare and associated coverage, and what plans should work best for you.

If you’re ready to create a custom Medicare recipe that suits your personal taste, contact us!

  • By phone: 1-800-247-4422
  • By email: