April 10, 2008
FUNDING FOR STATE HEALTH INSURANCE COUNSELING PROGRAMS FOR 2008
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that nearly $36 million will be distributed to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) to help people with Medicare get information about their health care choices. SHIPs are state based programs that use community-based networks to provide Medicare beneficiaries with local, personalized assistance on a wide variety of Medicare and health insurance topics.
This $36 million is the first installment of more than $50 million that will be provided to SHIPs in 2008, a $20 million increase in funding from the previous year. The funding includes over $39 million in regular SHIP grants, support, and performance-based grants to be awarded in September, as well as an additional $15 million in supplemental funding that will be distributed on June 1.
CMS expects the SHIPs to use the increased 2008 funding to conduct targeted community-based outreach to an increasing number of beneficiaries who may be unable to access other sources of information. In addition, SHIPs will continue their outreach and assistance to current and newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers, as well as reaching out to beneficiaries with limited incomes who may be eligible for the Part D Low-Income Subsidy.
To find your local SHIP, go to http://www.shiptalk.org/About/SHIProfileSearchForm.aspx?mf=Display.
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