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Training for volunteer Medicare counselors

Posted on Monday, June 10, 2013 at 5:30 pm

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is holding a Volunteer Certification class for anyone interested in helping Medicare beneficiaries understand and access their Medicare and related health insurance benefits.

The two-day class will be held on the last two Wednesdays in June at the South Central Tennessee Development District offices at 101 Sam Watkins Blvd. in Mt. Pleasant.

Potential volunteers must attend both sessions on June 19 and June 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

SHIP is a nationwide program funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Staff and volunteers are responsible for providing free and unbiased information to Medicare beneficiaries and their families.

Volunteers will learn how to assist beneficiaries new to Medicare with the enrollment process.  This includes helping beneficiaries understand the advantages and disadvantages of enrolling in Medicare Part B if they are still currently employed and covered by group health insurance.  In addition, volunteers will be trained to explain the different types of health insurance available to help pay the portion of a beneficiary’s health care costs that are not covered by Medicare.

Volunteers will also be instructed how to screen and submit applications for “extra help” with Medicare premiums, deductibles and copays as well as how to perform annual Part D plan comparisons.

The certification process consists of 2 full days of classroom instruction and an additional 6 hours of one-on-one training with a SHIP staff member.  Call 1-877-801-0044 to sign up for the classes.