SHIIP Medicare Counseling

As the Forsyth County coordinating site for the Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) program, Shepherd's Center trained volunteers can help answer your questions about Medicare, Prescription Drug Plans, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage Plans and long-term care insurance.

SHIIP is a program of the N.C. Department of Insurance, offers free guidance to Medicare beneficiaries who are uniformed, misinformed or just confused about insurance coverage, how Medicare works, what is covered and what to do next. You'll get unbiased information in simple-to-understand language.

We can help explain Medicare related matters without "sales" efforts or confusing terms. We can also help with you medical claims paperwork or policy comparisons.

The Shepherd's Center and Senior Services hold regular "Welcome to Medicare" workshops designed for those who are new to Medicare.

If you will be eligible for Medicare soon, the workshop “Welcome to Medicare" may be of interest. Attend the two-hour program and learn about the many options available so that you can make the choices that are right for you when the time comes to enroll.

Before requesting a face-to-face appointment with a SHIIP counselor to discuss your Medicare options, it is advised that you attend a “Welcome to Medicare” session.

Monthly Welcome to Medicare Sessions
To accommodate those still working, or if a daytime meeting is not convenient, the Shepherd's Center holds sessions once a month at various locations throughout Forsyth County from 5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. See the link below for the next workshop and location.

No Session in January, 2018

SEE FLYER FOR NEXT SESSION. You may also register online at


Enroll in Medicare On-line

It’s convenient, quick and easy. There’s no need to drive to a local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative. 

Use the online application to sign up for Medicare. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail.

Medicare is managed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Social Security works with CMS by enrolling people in Medicare.

For more information about applying for Medicare only and delaying retirement benefits, visit Applying for Medicare Only – Before You Decide.

To enroll on-line go to


Annual Open Enrollment Sessions

The Medicare Annual Open Enrollment period is from October 15 to December . During that time, Medicare Beneficiaries can elect to change their Medicare plans including Medicare Advantage plans, prescription drug plans, and if qualified, elect a Medigap or Supplement plan. Sessions will be held at the Shepherd's Center during Open Enrollment on most Friday afternoons. Reservations are required.

Using The Medicare Website to Enroll in Plans

The Medicare website ( is an excellent resource for individuals who wish to compare plans as well as enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Prescription Drug Plan. A tutorial is attached to guide you through the process. If you need assistance, please call and we will provide you assistance. SEE ATTACHED RESOURCE FOR GUIDANCE