SHIIP-SMP Best In State 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 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 Regional Health Services of Howard County and Greater Regional Medical Center in Union County.

MIPPA Best in State Award - Regional Health Services of Howard County

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. Lynda Springer has been counseling with Regional Health Services for almost 5 years, and we are happy to welcome Dale Ernst as a second counselor this year. 

When asked what motivates her to check income eligibility for every client, Lynda shared “Before volunteering with SHIIP, I worked for Medicaid and I know how important it is to get individuals help that need it.” 

Baily Kach, the SHIIP-SMP Sponsor Coordinator at Regional Health Services of Howard County, thanked Lynda by saying “We are proud of Lynda for her dedication to the clients she serves. Her knowledge and willingness to volunteer her time as a SHIIP counselor is a valuable asset for our community.”

SMP Best in State Award – Greater Regional Medical 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 “Medicare Fraud Spotlight” to learn tips about how to protect yourself from Medicare fraud and scams.) SHIIP-SMP Counselor Valarie Allen takes this responsibility seriously, and strives to talk with every client about what they can do to stay safe.

SHIIP-SMP Sponsor Coordinator at Greater Regional Medical Center, Jordan Crawford, shares “Valarie plays a huge role in our SHIIP-SMP program at Greater Regional Health. She goes above and beyond in helping patients and her hard work does not go unnoticed.”

“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.