$46.5 MILLION TO HELP BENEFICIARIES LEARN ABOUT MEDICARE
Nearly $46.5 million for basic grant funding will be distributed to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) to help people with Medicare get more information about their health benefits and choices, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced today.
The fiscal year 2012 grant is a non-competitive continuation of the SHIP grant from the prior annual grant period. These grants are available to the 54 SHIP organizations in the United States and its territories. The funding is available to SHIPs for the grant year April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.
“The SHIPs provide quality Medicare information to beneficiaries at the local level and help ensure that unbiased one-on-one counseling is provided to those needing access to health insurance and prescription drug coverage,” said Acting Administrator Tavenner. “SHIPs’ work in assisting Medicare beneficiaries and their families ensures the best possible grass roots level customer service.”
These grants are the first of two rounds of funding to be distributed to SHIPs in fiscal year 2012. Performance grants will be distributed to SHIPs in September based on their performance and accomplishments in the prior grant year. Performance award grant funding will allow SHIPs to expand and develop new strategies to strengthen their community-based networks.
“Through outreach and education, SHIPs provide beneficiaries and their caretakers with important information, including on Medicare’s preventive services benefits,” said Director of the CMS Office of Public Engagement Teresa Nino. “SHIPs are trusted and objective sources that counsel beneficiaries on health insurance options, and suggest choices that may save money for Medicare beneficiaries.”
CMS will continue to support the SHIPs with training and technical assistance to ensure that the community networks remain fully capable of accessing CMS’ 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) information line and regional office resources, as well as the online tools at www.medicare.gov to provide assistance to Medicare beneficiaries.