CHA on CBS/NBC News – Urges Congress to Save our SHIPs & Keep One-on-One Medicare Counseling!

CHA on CBS/NBC News – Urges Congress to Save our SHIPs & Keep One-on-One Medicare Counseling!

The Senate recently voted to eliminate our country’s only free, unbiased one-on-one Medicare counseling and advocacy program. Please join us in saying no and contacting your Congress people to keep funding for our nation’s State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) – known as HICAP – Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program in California.

Here’s a short clip of our Board Chair, Tatiana Fassieux speaking to this issue on CBS/NBC news! Great job Tatiana!

Click here to watch CHA on CBS/NBC News Urging Congress to Save our SHIPs!

Here’s a simple letter written by NCOA to contact your Congress person:

And here are some points you can include if you personalize your letter:

  • SHIP is only program that provides free, unbiased, one-on-one Medicare coverage and benefits counseling to older adults, people with disabilities, and their families.
  • Over the past decade, the number of Medicare beneficiaries receiving personal assistance has almost tripled. Last year, over 7 million people were helped and 98,000 public education presentations were given throughout the country.
  • To keep pace with the needs and the complexity of the Medicare program, SHIP needs an increase to at least $59.4 million/year. This is below the $66.6 million that would just be keeping up with inflation and the increased number of Medicare beneficiaries.
  • With a dizzying array of Medicare coverage options (Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap plans, TRICARE, retirement plans, etc) and significant differences in premiums, cost-sharing, provider networks, and coverage rules, sorting through information is overwhelming, isolating and confusing. SHIPs’ one-on-one counseling services play an essential role in making sure beneficiaries make well-informed choices and receive the coverage that best meets their needs.
  • SHIPs offer increasingly critical services that cannot be provided by 1-800 Medicare, on-line or written materials, or other outreach activities. In fact, approximately one-third of all partner referrals to SHIP originate from Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, local and state agencies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Social Security Administration, and members of Congress and their staff.

Thank you for your advocacy, and please share this post with others!

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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