Pharmacy Students Assist State’s SHIIP Program

Some HPU pharmacy students are certified Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors who help seniors find cost saving Medicare plans during Medicare Open Enrollment.


HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 30, 2018 – High Point University Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy students are out in the community helping Medicare recipients save money on their plans through the Medicare Open Enrollment period.

Amani Cobert, an HPU pharmacy student, works part-time in a community pharmacy. She says her involvement in the state’s SHIIP program has given her the knowledge to help even more clients.

Dr. Julie Cooper, HPU associate professor of clinical sciences, created a certificate elective course for students to become counselors through North Carolina Department of Insurance’s SHIIP, Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program. The students are responsible for reviewing the beneficiary’s Medicare Part D plan to find the best prescription drug coverage for the lowest cost.

“The SHIIP certificate opportunity is a means for our students to address a significant community need, the high cost of prescription medications,” says Cooper. “This course equips our students with tools to help seniors select the best Medicare plan so they can access needed medications.” 

Jeanie Schepisi, the Piedmont Regional manager for SHIIP, says this is the first year they’ve partnered with HPU to offer the certification course. She says it’s already been a success just two weeks into the open enrollment period because they’ve helped more than 100 seniors with their plans.

“The HPU pharmacy students have seen the value and appreciation of what our program does,” says Schepisi.

Amani Cobert, a third-year HPU pharmacy student, is one of 26 students certified as a SHIIP counselor. She was interested in the program because she works part-time in a community pharmacy in High Point. She often sees a lot of confusion with customers about their plans and prescriptions. Since becoming a SHIIP counselor, she saved one client $1,500 on their Medicare Part D plan.

“It’s rewarding for HPU pharmacy students to do this because this is out in the community with real people that come from all different financial situations,” says Cobert. “If I can help one person, that word-of-mouth will get more people to come back to us for help.”

Medicare Open Enrollment runs through Dec. 7. To make an appointment with a High Point University SHIIP Counselor, call 336-841-9547.

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