Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs State Health Insurance Assistance Program Ranked Second
Nationally for Medicare Counseling Services
The Administration for Community Living (ACL) commended the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs (RIDEA) for providing Medicare counseling services that are among the best in the country for all performance measures, including total client contacts, number of presentations, and total counselor hours. The Medicare counseling program, known as the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), provides no-cost, conflict-free, unbiased Medicare counseling to beneficiaries and their caregivers.
This week, ACL announced that RIDEA’s SHIP is ranked second amongst 54 programs throughout the country for the October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016 performance period. There is a SHIP in all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S Virgin Islands. Rhode Island was ranked fifth in the prior performance period ending September 30, 2014.
«SHIP counseling services are a critical part of the services and supports offered by the Division of Elderly Affairs. Assistance in navigating the complex Medicare system ensures that Rhode Island’s older adults are enrolled in the right Medicare plans for their individual needs,” said Charles J. Fogarty, Director of RIDEA. «The health and economic impact of ensuring Rhode Island’s 204,000 Medicare eligible residents are enrolled in the proper plan is significant. I am proud that we are being recognized nationally for our SHIP services that are preserving older adults’ limited resources and keeping Rhode Islanders healthy.»
«SHIP counseling is extremely effective in protecting Medicare beneficiaries from drastic cost increases,» said Mary Ladd, Manager of the Rhode Island SHIP at RIDEA. «Expanding access to counseling, and getting beneficiaries the best of the three “C”’s: Cost, Coverage and Convenience is central to our work to empower older adults to live healthy, happy, and independent lives.»
RIDEA received recognition from ACL for overall improvement in every one of the eight measurement categories for the period of October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016. Most impressive were the 21,113 client contacts (27.61% increase over prior period), the 29,171 people reached through presentations (159.48 % increase over prior period), and the number of unduplicated enrollment contacts, which stand at 19,408 (32.93 % increase over prior period), and at 15,693 for unduplicated Part D enrollment contacts (35.34% increase over prior year).
The announcement came with the release of the SHIP Annual Performance Report on Monday, November 28, 2016.
SHIP services are available at no cost to the Rhode Island Medicare eligible population, and are offered throughout the state as part of the Aging and Disability Resource Centers network. The 2017 Medicare Open Enrollment period runs through December 7. To schedule a SHIP counseling appointment call (401) 462-4444.