Save Our SHIPs! Tell Congress to Keep Our Free Medicare Counseling & Advocacy Programs!

Save Our SHIPs! Tell Congress to Keep Our Free Medicare Counseling & Advocacy Programs!

Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY17 Labor, HHS, Education Appropriations bill with a nearly unanimous vote of 29-1. While it includes additional funding for some aging services, it also proposes to ELIMINATE all funding for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP’s annual budget is only $52 million, which is a relatively small drop in the bucket in terms of government funds. Yet, this dangerous bill aims to eliminate this important, effective program that helps millions of beneficiaries nationwide better understand and navigate the increasingly complex Medicare program.

This is the only program that provides free, unbiased, one-on-one Medicare coverage and benefits counseling, and with 10,000 Americans becoming Medicare eligible each day and SHIP services are needed more than ever. We ask you to join us in contacting your Congress people and urging them to support SHIP!

Here’s a link to the National Council on Aging’s form to send an email to your Representative. They provide sample text, but please take the time to personalize your message with your experiences as a SHIP counselor or as a recipient of valuable Medicare information.

Thank you for your advocacy, and please share this alert 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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