Understanding Medicare can be confusing and overwhelming. Eligibility dates, options for supplemental plans, Advantage plans, and prescription coverage can be daunting. State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) have helped Medicare beneficiaries navigate the complexities of the Medicare system. On June 16th, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their FY 2017 budget, which would eliminate funding for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs). This move would result in 55 million people being left without access to the only free and personalized counseling service to help Medicare beneficiaries.
Many kidney patients rely on the assistance that SHIPs provide. SHIPs offers free advice on how to resolve billing, fraud and abuse issues, choose from an array of drug and health insurance plans, challenge coverage denials, and receive financial subsidies for premiums, co-payments and deductibles. They also provide personalized counseling and host Medicare enrollment clinics, informational meetings, and answer questions over toll-free telephone…
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