Seniors Out Speaking (SOS)
Through Seniors Out Speaking (SOS), the Medicare Rights Center works with host organizations nationally to enlist, train, and track the outcomes of SOS volunteers as they help their friends and neighbors understand Medicare and related health insurance coverage. The SOS model builds camaraderie among older adults, strengthens community-based organizations, and encourages participants to become advocates for their own health care and that of their peers.
SOS comprises three different programs, including “Medicare Minutes,” “Health Advocacy Workshops,” and “Hour Topics.”
The SOS Medicare Minute is a good introduction to the SOS model. SOS Medicare Minutes are short, engaging presentations on timely Medicare topics that are presented at local sites on a monthly basis. Each month, older volunteers from an SOS host organization receive and discuss a new SOS Medicare Minute, which they then present at local sites, offering valuable information to their peers, strengthening volunteer participation at host organizations, and establishing programming that has a track record of securing funding from foundation, government, and individual sources.
Some recent SOS Medicare Minute topics include the following:
- New Enrollment Periods in 2012
- Drug Coverage Under Medicare Parts B and D
- Mental Health Coverage Under Medicare
- Medicare’s Skilled Nursing Facility Benefit
- Programs that Help Pay Medicare Costs
Who else is using SOS Medicare Minutes? SOS Medicare Minutes currently empower thousands of older adults each month through presentations coordinated by Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs (SHIPs), senior centers, libraries, labor unions and other partners in the following communities:
- New York City
- Westchester County, New York
- Baltimore, Maryland
I’m interested in bringing SOS to my community. How do I begin? Host organizations should have access to interested volunteers (and be willing to increase volunteer participation as needed). Host organizations are also encouraged to identify a point person to serve as SOS coordinator, scheduling SOS Medicare Minute presentations at local sites, communicating with volunteers, and tracking presentation data for monthly reports.
For more information about how to begin offering SOS Medicare Minutes (or other SOS programming) in your community, please contact Scarlet Watts, director of marketing and outreach, at email@example.com or 1-800-480-2068 x 6285.