Bob Seltzer, a new resident of the Methow Valley, is a trained Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisor (SHIBA) volunteer. A SHIBA volunteer is trained to:
Washington state’s SHIBA can help you:
- Understand your health care coverage options and rights
- Find affordable health care coverage
- Evaluate and compare health insurance plans
SHIBA volunteers provide free, unbiased and confidential assistance with Medicare and health care choices.
We asked Bob to tell us a little more about himself and his services.
Since retiring from a career in Human Resources — with five years in Social Services interspersed — I’ve been exploring scenic spots throughout the northwestern and mountain states. It seems the best way to do that is by living in each area for a couple of years. I’ve enjoyed mountain locations in Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and now Washington. My daughter Joanna, with whom I share a house, and I were looking for a small town with clean air, mountains, water, good hiking, organic produce, live music, and people who enjoy living simply, sustainably, and helping each other out. Twisp seemed to be a good fit — so here we are.
Part of my work experience involved designing and administering employee benefit programs. After retiring, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity where my experience might come in handy. That led to SHIBA — the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors program. As a volunteer advisor, I’m available to help folks who have Medicare, or will soon become eligible, to navigate Medicare’s many health insurance and prescription drug options. Over the years that I’ve been involved with SHIBA, Medicare has added various options for receiving services. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the choices and all the information sent by insurance companies. I can help wade through the options and find what will work best for each individual. I can also help with any problems encountered with either Medicare or the providers with whom they contract.
It’s important for people to know that SHIBA is a free and objective service sponsored by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. It is not connected to any insurance company or health plan. Also, we’re currently in Medicare’s annual open enrollment period which ends on December 7th. Since plans and their premiums usually change, this is a good time for people to review their Prescription Drug Plan or Medicare Advantage Plan to see if it’s still the best one for them. This can be done on Medicare’s website. I’m also available to help, if necessary.
Since moving to the Methow Valley, there have been no major surprises. Our high expectations have been met, and in many cases exceeded. Wait — there was one surprise! We didn’t grasp the significance of the name “Twisp” until experiencing the wasps. Nevertheless, we may finally be ready to settle down.