Increase federal funding for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)
SHIPs provide in-depth, one-on-one counseling to seniors and disabilities about how to navigate Medicare. SHIPs play a critical role in ensuring that beneficiaries make informed decisions about their coverage, including selecting among Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans as well as supplemental Medigap insurance. SHIPs are also integral to helping beneficiaries and their families find their way in an evolving and increasingly complex benefit, with many ongoing pilot initiatives changing how care is delivered, both in Original Medicare and private health plans. For too many years, SHIPs have been flat funded, meaning that federal resources have not kept pace with growing needs. Congress should increase funding for SHIPs, to account for both the growing need, as 10,000 Baby Boomers age into Medicare daily, and the shifting landscape of Medicare choices.