Friday, May 24, 2024

Conversation with Tim Smolen, SHIBA – Part 1

Unraveling the Mysteries of Medicare & the PEBB Healthcare Plans:  A Three-Part Conversation with Tim Smolen, Program Manager, SHIBA

Part 1 of a three-part series featuring a conversation with Tim Smolen, Program Manager of the Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) to help RPEC members, who earn their healthcare benefits from PEBB, better understand their choices among PEBB plans. RPEC’s Matt Groshong (Chapter 3 President and Chair of the RPEC Health Care Workgroup) is the host.


  • Background
  • Goal(s)
  • Introductions

Quick primer on Medicare

  • Overview of Medicare
  • Overview of Part A, Part B, Part D, Part F/G
  • Medicare Advantage vs. Traditional Medicare
  • Medicare vs. non-Medicare expenses

Overview of PEBB and the PEBB plans

  • High-level view of each plan and its features
  • Discussion about the increasing premium costs for 2024
  • How to compare drug coverage in the PEBB plans
  • Alternatives to UMP Classic Medicare for increased affordability

Wrap up

  • What we learned
  • Overview of Webinar #2 – Evaluating the PEBB Healthcare Plan Options

Parts 2 and 3 will be recorded in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

For more information about SHIBA, visit:

Tim Smolen is the SHIBA Program Manager. In the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of Insurance Commissioner (OIC), the SHIBA program is responsible for helping people with Medicare – and those who will be eligible soon – as well their families and advocates to understand their rights and protections and options. Navigating this complex system can be challenging and frustrating; we are here to help.

Tim was appointed SHIBA Program Manager in January 2021. He looks forward to each day on the job as an opportunity to be kind and useful. The best part of the work is knowing the impact of helping people, in terms of saving them money and also in terms of putting their mind and heart at ease.

Prior to this role, Tim’s work in State government included the OIC, Health Care Authority and Labor & Industries. Before working in State government, Tim worked in not-for-profit organizations, including insurance companies in Boston and Seattle. He earned a Master’s degree in Health Services Administration from the University of Michigan.

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