Monday, April 15, 2024

Conversation with Tim Smolen, SHIBA – Part 3

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

Part 3 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.

Introduction

  • Background
  • Goals
  • Introductions
  • Overview of topics addressed in the first two webinars

Open enrollment

  • Deadline for filing (PEBB has different deadline than Medicare)
  • NOTE: “How to file” discussion needs to wait until HCA’s online enrollment portal is live, and HCA will probably have how-to guides of their own.

HCA resources

  • Web pages
  • In-person benefits fairs
  • Navigating the printed 2024 PEBB enrollment guide
  • October newsletter
  • Online Plan Comparison Tool

Where else to go for help in choosing a PEBB plan

  • Contacting the plans, and how to prepare for success when dealing with their customer service representatives
  • Contacting the Plans
  • RPEC
  • SHIBA

Miscellaneous

  • Recap focus of the other two segments in the series
  • Provide contact information on SHIBA

For more information about SHIBA, visit: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/statewide-health-insurance-benefits-advisors-shiba

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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