3525 US Highway 34, Oswego, IL 60543

Medicare and SHIP


Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period: January 1 – March 31, 2024
(only if you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan)

You can switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan with or without drug coverage.  You can drop your Medicare Advantage Plan and go back to Original Medicare.  You can also elect to join a Medicare drug plan.  If you elect to change plans, your new plan will start the first of the month after the plan gets your request.  You can visit https://www.medicare.gov/plan-compare/#/?year=2024&lang=en to learn about and compare Advantage Plans in your area.  Or call OSCC to set an appointment with our SHIP Counselor.  630-554-5602

Whether you are new to Medicare or not, Medicare and Social Security can be confusing. Oswegoland Senior and Community Center’s certified SHIP counselors can help you navigate Medicare, Medicare Advantage and other benefit programs.

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs provide local, in-depth, and objective insurance counseling and assistance.    SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company. SHIP counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance.

SHIP counselors are trained to:

* Educate consumers and answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement, Medicare HMOs, private fee-for-service and other health insurance.

* Organize and assist in filing Medicare and Medicare Supplement claims; Analyze Supplement policies.

The SHIP program’s in-person help can prove essential for understanding the complexities of  Medicare and making good choices. For others, SHIP education helped them save on their health care costs. Here are additional thoughts that might be troubling you:

*  Considering making coverage changes during Medicare’s Open Enrollment?  SHIP counselor can provide one-on-one assistance with reviewing health or prescription drug plan options.

Worried about the out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare? SHIP counselor can help you find out about eligible assistance programs.

Unsure about Medicare’s eligibility criteria? SHIP counselor can help you understand guidelines.

*  Wondering what Medicare does and doesn’t   cover? SHIP counselors have  answers.

Confused about who pays first, Medicare or  another insurance? A SHIP counselor can explain how Medicare works with supplemental policies,  retiree coverage, Medicaid, and other Insurers.

*  Uncertain of your rights under Medicare? SHIP Counselors can provide assistance.

Getting Extra Help with
Medicare Drug Costs

If your income for 2023 is below $22,000 ($30,000 for married couples), you may
qualify for lower prescription drug costs. Many people qualify for “Extra Help”
with Medicare Part D (drug coverage) and don’t even know it.
With “Extra Help,” you could cut your Medicare Part D (drug coverage)
premium to $0 and greatly reduce your prescription drug copayments.
Thanks to a new prescription drug law, many people will qualify for additional
savings on their Medicare drug coverage (Part D) costs in 2024.
If you make less than $22,000 per year ($30,000 for married couples), you
may qualify for “Extra Help.” It could cut your Medicare Part D drug costs to
no more than $4.15 for generic prescriptions and $10.35 for brand-name drug

Think you qualify for “Extra Help” with your Medicare Part D (drug coverage)
costs, but need help with your application? Get free, personalized, local assistance
through your SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) Call OSCC SHIP Counselor at 630-554-5602!  For additional information click the link:



Medicare Savings Program:

There are three levels of help through the Medicare Savings Program administered through Medicaid, Illinois Department of Health and Human Services.     Apply here: https://abe.illinois.gov  or go to the Department of Health and Human Services Local Office (DHS): 361 Old Indian Trail, Aurora; 630-844-7400

Full Medicaid:

Full Medicaid (AABD) is available for people age 65 and older. Sometimes if individuals are over the income limits, they are put on a Spenddown program, which is like a deductible that they have to meet monthly before Medicaid kicks in.

Apply here: https://abe.illinois.gov or go to DHS Local Office: 361 Old Indian Trail, Aurora; 630-844-7400

Social Security: Apply online for Social Security Retirement and Medicare, Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security, Extra Help for Medicare Part D: https://www.ssa.gov/

Local Social Security Office
1325 N Lake St.
Aurora, IL 60506

Extra Help (Prescription Drugs):

Extra Help, also known as Low Income Subsidy (LIS), through Social Security is a benefit program that helps Medicare Beneficiaries with prescription drug plan premiums, co-pays and annual deductibles.  To qualify: Your resources must be limited to $15,510 as an individual or $30,950 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count your home, car, or any life insurance policy as resources; and your annual income must be limited to $20,385 for an individual or $27,465 for a married couple living together. Apply online here: https://www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/

Social Security Local Office: 1325 N Lake St, Aurora; 1-800-772-1213

Medicaid: Apply online for SNAP, Medicare Savings, full Medicaid, cash assistance: www.hfs.illinois.gov

You may qualify for a benefit called “Extra Help” that gives you a discount on your medications and plans that have a $0 monthly premium would be available to you. “Extra Help” is a program offered by Social Security and there is more than one way that you can qualify. A Senior Health Insurance counselor can help you apply for the “Extra Help” program.