Whatcom County SHIBA Program

Insurance options for Medicare-eligible individuals


Scroll Down to the Events List to REGISTER

DON’T WAIT: Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment ENDS MARCH 31!

Did you know that if you’re unhappy with your Medicare Advantage Plan (Medicare Part C), you have options? Each year, there’s a Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period from January 1 – March 31. During this time, if you’re in a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to change your health plan, you can do one of these:

If you switch Medicare Advantage Plans or go back to Original Medicare with or without a Medicare drug plan, your new coverage will start the first day of the month after your new plan gets your request for coverage. Keep in mind, if you go back to Original Medicare now, you may not be able to buy a Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) policy.

The Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period isn’t for people who already have Original Medicare.

It’s important to understand and be confident in your Medicare coverage choices. If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan and want to change your plan, check out your options today. Remember, this Medicare Advantage Plan Open Enrollment Period ends March 31.

Logo: SHIBA, Office of the Insurance Commissioner, Washington State

SHIBA: Medicare Advising

SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) is a free, confidential, and impartial counseling resource sponsored by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. 

Volunteer SHIBA advisors are highly trained and experienced to counsel Medicare-eligible residents of all ages and backgrounds. They will help you understand your rights and options, and offer up-to-date information so that you can make informed decisions concerning your health insurance needs. 

SHIBA advisors can help you with: 

  • Understanding the various aspects of Medicare such as benefits, enrollment, costs, plan differences, and more. 
  • Evaluating, comparing, and enrolling in options available in Whatcom County as approved by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. 
  • Screening and enrolling in cost-saving programs such as Extra Help, Medicare Savings Programs, and prescription assistance options. 
  • Reporting fraud, complaints, grievances, and appeals to the OIC or your insurance company. 
  • Connecting to adjacent services and assistance at other agencies and programs such as SSA, CMS, DSHS, HCA, VA, PEBB, WA HealthPlanFinder, Northwest Regional Council, etc. 

Public SHIBA presentations and seminars are available to your group or organization. Please contact us with inquiries at (360) 788-2725. 

Become a SHIBA volunteer

Help your friends, neighbors and family learn more about health insurance and public programs! SHIBA Volunteers receive 30 hours of basic health insurance training, monthly updates, and ongoing supervision and support by a staff member of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. To express interest or learn more, please contact the SHIBA Program at:

(360) 788-2725 or shiba@nulloppco.org.

Watch a recording of our recent SHIBA Webinar:

SHIBA SMP “Senior Scams & Medicare Fraud” Webinar, 7/22

Have Medicare Questions?

Make an appointment today with one of our trained volunteer advisors! 

Call: (360) 788-2725 

Email: shiba@nulloppco.org 

 Assistance with Non-Medicare Health Care Coverage Options: 

Unity Care Northwest Community Health Center:
(360) 788-2669
Email: enrollment@nullucnw.org
Website: www.ucnw.org/insurance-resources-and-enrollment 

Sea Mar Community Health Center:
Bellingham: (360) 671-3225
Everson: (360) 354-0766
Email: seamaripa@nullseamarchc.org 

Washington HealthPlanFinder:
1 (855) 923-4633
Website: wahealthplanfinder.org 

Events List:

Event Name
(Click to read description & REGISTER)



Event Type

Medicare Basics (With Lynden Community Center) Thursday, 1/14 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ZOOM Webinar
Medicare Basics (with WCOA) Tuesday, 1/19 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ZOOM Webinar
Welcome to Medicare (Whatcom Community College) Tuesday, 2/2 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM ZOOM Class
Medicare Cost-Savings Programs (with WCOA) Thursday, 2/11 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM ZOOM Webinar
Medicare COVID-19 Scams and Fraud Thursday, 2/18 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ZOOM Webinar
Medicare Cost-Savings Programs (with Lynden Community Center) Thursday, 3/4 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM ZOOM Webinar
Welcome to Medicare (Whatcom Community College) Wednesday, 3/10 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM ZOOM Class
Medicare Cost-Savings Programs Thursday, 3/18 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ZOOM Webinar