Insurance Counseling Assistance
For seniors in South Carolina, the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is known as ICARE, Insurance Counseling Assistance and Referral for Elders (ICARE). The ICARE program is federally funded to provide health insurance counseling for Medicare and its many parts. The ICARE program is a free, confidential service through which certified insurance counselors can provide clear, objective information. Some of the many services a certified ICARE counselor can provide include:
- Explanation of Medicare benefits including preventive services
- Instruction on how to read Medicare Summary Notices
- Assistance with Medicare Enrollment for Parts A, B, C and D
- Plan comparison during Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15-December 7)
- Screen for and apply to cost-savings programs such as the Low Income Subsidy (LIS) and the different Medicare Savings Programs
- Facilitate coordination of benefits amongst providers (Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare, etc)
- Identify different types of Medicare and Medicaid Fraud and explain how to report and prevent them
Volunteers are needed for the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Project, an initiative that educates seniors about Medicare and healthcare fraud. Volunteers will spearhead outreach and education programs. Interested parties should contact the Medicare Specialist.
FRAUD PREVENTION TIPS:
- Walk away if people approach you in parking lots, shopping centers or other public areas and offer free goods or services in exchange for your Medicare number.
- Simply hang up the phone if someone calls you claiming to be conducting a health survey and asks for your Medicare number.
- Do not give your Medicare or Social Security information over the telephone
For more information on the ICARE program, please contact the regional Medicare Specialist, Beulah Torbit, at (843) 436-6252.