Purchasing insurance is not normally a joyous occasion. But considering that last year, seniors that sought help from The Hope Center during open enrollment, saved a total of $72,196.17, averaging $465.78 in savings per person, it might make this daunting task a little easier to bear.

If the words Open Enrollment make you feel like burying your head under the pile of insurance ads that you have recently received, don’t feel alone. Fortunately, there are specially trained Senior Health Insurance Counselor volunteers right here in Pratt, at The Hope Center, that can help.

“I believe everyone should review their insurance coverage each year because health needs change and so does the coverage insurance companies offer,” says Lisa Hart, Marketplace Navigator for Pratt Regional Medical Center.

Senior Health Insurance Counseling of Kansas or SHICK counselors are trained to assist individuals with comparing prescription plans to find the one that works best for them. Pratt Regional Medical Center and the Pratt Health Foundation sponsor the SHICK program at The Hope Center, so it is free and open to the public. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimate that 18,107 Medicare beneficiaries in Kansas qualify for additional cost savings programs but simply haven’t enrolled.

Open enrollment is now through Dec. 4, 2016. People interested in this program or their caregivers, are encouraged to call Lisa Hart at the Hope Center at 620-933-2165. SHICK volunteer counselors do not work for any insurance company. Last year during open enrollment 155 individuals were helped; 126 clients switched plans, 27 stayed the same and two chose a higher policy and lost money.