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Training Medicare Counselors Across the Country

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On its own, the Medicare Rights Center counsels thousands of people with Medicare each year on its national helpline. Medicare Rights maximizes its impact by also providing trainings and educational resources for local Medicare counselors in all 50 states. These counselors work and volunteer for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) that are funded by the Administration for Community Living under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SHIP counselors provide local, independent counseling and assistance to people eligible for Medicare, their families, and caregivers—and Medicare Rights trains and certifies thousands of these counselors annually in its role as educational partner to the National SHIP Technical Assistance Center. 

Medicare Rights’ education and information technology staff work together to provide a wide array of resources to support SHIPs, including online courses and webinars on important Medicare topics. For instance, Medicare Rights facilitated a webinar in January on changes to Medicare in 2021 for nearly 1,000 participants. SHIP directors can also use Medicare Rights’ exam tool to create regular certification exams for their counselors. Since the tool’s inception in 2016, counselors have taken 100,000 exams as they stay current on Medicare and ready to counsel their communities. Additionally, when SHIP counselors encounter difficult questions, they can reach out to Medicare Rights through a designated inbox to request assistance with cases that require expert troubleshooting and research. 

In addition to the above, each month Medicare Rights provides SHIPs with the Medicare Minute, custom materials that can be used to host on-site and virtual Medicare presentations. The Medicare Minute provides Medicare education for local communities and helps strengthen SHIP counseling.  

Medicare Rights is proud to support the SHIP network of independent Medicare counselors to help reach even more older adults, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers with accurate and timely Medicare information and guidance. 

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