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Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!

Feb 23, 2023, 1:01 AM | Updated: 1:44 am

SPONSORED – If you’re retired or getting ready to retire and looking for new ways to stay active, becoming a Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) volunteer could be for you! SHIBA volunteers make a difference in the life of people on Medicare.

The SHIBA program is a free, unbiased, and confidential service offered through the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

You don’t have to know Medicare because you will receive basic training. And there is a variety of volunteer positions and time commitments available, so there is something for everyone.

Our volunteers help people:

• Determine general eligibility for health care coverage programs.
• Evaluate and compare Medicare plans and programs.
• Provide Medicare enrollment help.
• Speak with 1-800-MEDICARE on clients’ behalf.
• Make referrals to other agencies/programs.
• Collect and report possible Medicare fraud complaints.
• Make public presentations to local groups.
• Provide clerical support.
• Participate in outreach activities.

Dick Anderson, a longtime 15-year SHIBA volunteer counselor from Wenatchee, talks about his experience volunteering with the program. “I’d pay money for them to let me do this,” says Dick. “It’s that big, and an important part of my life. Health insurance can be confusing, and I think that’s one of the reasons why the SHIBA program has been so successful and has gotten such a good response from the public. What we do makes a difference, and we’re able to help thousands of people each year.”

So, if you’re willing to learn and want to help others, join the team of volunteers right in your own community. SHIBA offices are located throughout the state. To learn more and get started, call SHIBA at 1-800-562-6900 and ask to speak to someone about volunteering with SHIBA. You can also find out more about SHIBA at www.insurance.wa.gov/shiba.

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Volunteer to help people understand their Medicare options!