Your community needs you: SHIP, SMP training nears

Have you been looking for a way to really help people in your community? If so, two state programs may just have the opportunity for you.

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) are part of a statewide program that provides free and objective counseling and assistance to people with questions or problems regarding Medicare and other related health insurance.

SHIP/SMP answers questions about Original Medicare, Advantage plans, prescription drug plans, supplements, Medicare fraud and abuse, Medicare covered preventive services, being under 65 and having Medicare, financial assistance with Medicare premiums, deductibles and copays, and much more.

“We are in the process of recruiting new volunteers,” said Mike David, volunteer coordinator with South Central Tennessee Development District (SCTDD).

A volunteer training class will be held on Monday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 3, at the SCTDD office at 101 Sam Watkins Blvd in Mount Pleasant. Potential volunteers must attend both sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“Our goal is to get volunteers trained to go out into their own communities into senior centers, assisted living facilities, churches, health fairs, etc. to make a real difference in people’s lives,” David said.

If you would like to attend the volunteer training classes, please contact him to register. With the exception of licensed insurance agents, anyone can be a SHIP volunteer. You do not have to attend alone; couples or groups of friends are welcome.

It is also recommended that you attend the A, B, and C’s of Medicare class on Wednesday, Feb. 19, to get a better understanding of the SHIP program.

SHIP is funded through grant number 90SA0096-01 from the U.S. Administration on Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services. For more information, call toll-free 1-877-801-0044 or 931-379-2927, or email

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