Stanly County Senior Services receives award for Medicare assistance work

Stanly County Senior Services was honored last week by NC Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey as the Piedmont Region SHIIP County of the Year for 2019.

The Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP), which is operated by the N.C. Department of Insurance, provides free help to senior citizens across the state. It relies on county coordinators to help organize nearly 1,000 trained volunteers to provide Medicare counseling in all 100 counties in North Carolina.

Senior Services is the coordinating site for SHIIP in the county. Trained counselors provide free and unbiased Medicare assistance and information to beneficiaries on their Medicare questions, supplements, drug plans and even fraud.

“Medicare can be very confusing and so I’m glad that through our volunteers we are able to provide free, unbiased help for the Medicare beneficiaries,” said Becky Weemhoff, director of Stanly County Senior Services and a co-coordinator for the program. She added that last year, trained counselors helped almost 900 Stanly County Medicare recipients, which saved them over $1 million in health insurance costs.

“Our volunteers are great,” said Sherri Parker, the other co-coordinator for SHIIP in Stanly County. “Without them and the time that they so willingly give to the program we could not have assisted as many people as we did.”

Stanly is one of 23 counties in the Piedmont region. Weemhoff said Senior Services had previously received the award around a decade ago.