What role do volunteers play in the program?

Understanding Medicare and related health insurance can be confusing and overwhelming. To help, Iowans turn to volunteer SHIIP–SMP Counselors.  SHIIP–SMP volunteers are an integral part in helping Iowans make informed decisions and access resources to address their Medicare and other healthcare insurance needs. Each year they assist tens of thousands of Iowans understand their Medicare benefits and options and fight Medicare fraud and abuse through individual counseling sessions, community education, special projects and making connections in their communities.

What impact do they have in their community?

You know your community best. That’s why we want your help to support your friends and neighbors as they enroll in Medicare for the first time, review plan options, or troubleshoot problems. Local community organizations and health care facilities partner with SHIIP-SMP to host trained volunteers at sponsor sites across Iowa.

What SHIIP-SMP Volunteer Roles are available?

SHIIP–SMP has counselor and office assistant volunteer roles available at more than 120 sites across the state of Iowa. These roles can provide opportunities for conducting one-on-one counseling, speaking to groups, or providing office support. SHIIP- SMP provides excellent training and resources to assure SHIIP- SMP volunteers are prepared and have the tools they need for counseling and community education.

Volunteer as a Counselor

SHIIP-SMP counselors provide one-on-one assistance to people on Medicare, caregivers or representatives. They can help with questions and problems related to Medicare & related health insurances. Counselors also create awareness of SHIIP-SMP services in the community. This includes leading discussions with partners or making group presentations. Read our Volunteer Counselor position description to learn more.

Volunteer Counselor Requirements

SHIIP-SMP counselors are provided with all the information and tools they need for counseling and education sessions. All volunteers are required to:

  • Complete new volunteer training
  • Attend educational update seminars
  • Assist a minimum number of clients throughout the year
  • Complete online reviews

So volunteers can proceed with confidence during counseling and educational sessions, SHIIP–SMP provides excellent resources including a dedicated 800# line for volunteer questions that is answered by staff, print resources, and regularly updated information. Review the full list of requirements.

Hear One Volunteer's Story

Gary Schwartz wanted to make a difference after retirement.

What Makes a Good Counselor?

Who makes a good counselor? If you are someone who enjoys tackling new challenges, likes learning new information, gains satisfaction from helping people, has good computer skills, can work with diverse populations, and can be an objective and trusted source of information, this may be great fit for you. Apply now using our online application

When I talk to people and I can save them $100 here or $100 there, I can feel them smiling; I can feel them feeling better about life. I think that's very important."

Learn about SHIIP-SMP Office Assistant Opportunities

Volunteer Office Assistants also play a critical role in provision of services. Key responsibilities for this role include:

  • Assisting with the creation of new online medicare.gov accounts.
  • Entering prescription drugs from clients into Plan Finder at www.Medicare.gov, including calling the client or pharmacy to verify accuracy of the drug list.
  • Assisting with copying, mailing and other site office assistance.
  • As needed, screening client calls for service and scheduling counseling appointments.

Volunteer as an Office Assistant

SHIIP-SMP has volunteer opportunities for office assistants in many locations across the State. Office assistants help a variety of clerical tasks. This includes entering prescription drug information for SHIIP-SMP clients, scheduling appointments and more. For additional information, review our Volunteer Office Assistance Position Description

Apply now using our online application