The Importance of SHIIP/ SMP Volunteers and Sites
SHIIP/ SMP services are provided through a network of amazing volunteers and sites throughout the State of Iowa. SHIIP/ SMP volunteers and services give peace of mind by providing Medicare beneficiaries with the information they need to make educated selections for the health insurance products that meet their needs. SHIIP/ SMP Volunteers provide education to help people avoid, identify and resolve cases of Medicare fraud, errors and abuse. SHIIP/ SMP volunteers also assist Medicare beneficiaries save money on prescriptions, and offer a lifeline to those needing extra help to cover their bills.
SHIIP/SMP Sponsor Site Awards Go To…
While SHIIP/SMP volunteers are best known for providing one-on-one Medicare counseling- including helping Medicare beneficiaries compare their plan options - they do so much more!
Every year, volunteers at two SHIIP/SMP Sponsor Sites are recognized for being the “Best in State” at helping clients find financial assistance to cover Medicare costs and helping clients avoid Medicare fraud, scams and abuse.This year the awards were present to Dallas County Hospital and Lucas County Health Center
MIPPA Best In State Award- Dallas County Hospital
The MIPPA Award celebrates a site where volunteers prioritize screening clients about their income and assets to identify eligibility for financial assistance covering Part B premiums and drug costs. That means taking the extra time to talk with clients to understand their unique financial situations, and then ensuring they get support completing applications for assistance. Lou Hogar at Dallas County Hospital has been a volunteer SHIIP/SMP Counselor for more than five years, and he has driven the site’s success in screening clients for eligibility.
In response to the award, Lou shared, “SHIIP, to me, means education and service. When I screen every client, I am educating them about help available to them or any family members or friends. I thereby add value to my service to this client that may benefit them or others.”
SMP Best In State Award- Lucas County Health Center
The SMP Award celebrates volunteers who are building awareness and educating their clients on how to avoid common Medicare fraud and scams. This includes tips on when to hang up, spotting false ads, and the advice to NEVER share your Medicare number over the phone. (Read more about common Medicare scams here.) SHIIP/SMP Counselors Mike Miller and Steve Bright take this responsibility seriously, and strive to talk with every client about what they can do to stay safe. "I talk to my clients about fraud and scams because they seem to be very prevalent in todays society. We all need to report any fraud that we do see, to help stop it. I talk about scams to help make everyone more aware of them. If I can help even one person from being ripped off, it will be very helpful." stated Mike Miller.
The Volunteer Services Manager and SHIIP/SMP Sponsor Coordinator, Kristine Kennedy, shares “Lucas County Health Center knows how important it is to have help navigating Medicare and identity fraud. We are very happy to have Steve Bright and Mike Miller assisting our residents with navigating Medicare and educating our community on Medicare Fraud.”
“At SHIIP/SMP we are grateful to work with dedicated volunteers who consistently go the extra mile to support their clients. Helping ensure clients can afford their Medicare Insurance, and providing education to prevent clients from falling victims to Medicare scams are critical pieces of the SHIIP/SMP benefit in our communities.” emphasized Kristin Griffith, SHIIP/ SMP Director.