In October 2015, the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) announced the awarding of four cooperative agreements to expand the reach of the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) by supporting the development of outreach and education strategies and tools aimed at helping SMP and SHIP grantees reach various target populations. Each grantee will provide information to the SMP and SHIP networks on the specific needs of their targeted populations as well as how to reach the populations in the communities. These are 17-month grants. The grantees are:
The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA)
The CMA is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan law organization that provides education, advocacy, and legal assistance to help older people and people with disabilities obtain fair access to Medicare and necessary health care. Its Medicare for People Under 65 page gives an introduction to the population, details enrollment and benefits, describes the “Improvement Standard” case, and goes into durable medical equipment coverage.
The organization notes that those under age 65 with disabilities often have lower incomes, require more health care, and find it more difficult to pay for and obtain care compared to Medicare beneficiaries over 65 years old. They are more likely to have cognitive impairments, report themselves in poor health, and are more likely to have limitations in one or more activities of daily living. CMA helps SMPs and SHIPs learn about the needs of Medicare’s younger beneficiaries and increase the resources available to communicate with and support Medicare them. Click here for the CMA webinar page.
The National Asian Pacific Center on Aging (NAPCA)
strives to provide a voice for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) elders. NAPCA partners with the Pacific Gateway Center and the Southeast Asia Resource Action Center to build upon the SHIP and SMP resource centers. The SHIP and SMP centers will house AAPI-specific resources, training webinars, and a toolkit to help SMPs and SHIPs better serve and reach limited English proficient AAPI Medicare beneficiaries. The primary outcome is to increase the number of limited English proficient AAPI Medicare beneficiaries who are aware of and utilize their Medicare benefits and who can identify and prevent Medicare fraud, errors, and abuse.
The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA)
The goal of the Limited English Proficient (LEP) program from NHCOA is to develop the capacity of SHIP and SMP staff nationwide to implement successful outreach and education to the LEP Hispanic older adults in their communities. Through this outreach and education, they help LEP members of their communities to access and use benefits for which they are eligible and to recognize and report Medicare fraud.
This program builds on NHCOA’s experience and capacity in the field through the development of a formal curriculum to support SMP staff members as they reach out to Hispanic LEP communities with education on Medicare fraud (the LEP Medicare Fraud Protection Curriculum). In addition, NHCOA will develop a manual to train SHIP staff to successfully counsel members of their local LEP communities (the LEP Benefits Counseling Manual).
Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)
SAGE is dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) older adults. SAGE helps SMPs and SHIPs develop replicable, sustainable, innovative ways to reach and help LGBT Medicare beneficiaries. Products to be developed include new fact sheets, a webinar, and an in-person workshop. Its core objectives are to:
- Provide SMP programs with materials for understanding LGBT older adults’ unique needs and for use when outreaching/presenting to LGBT Medicare beneficiaries
- Provide SHIP staff and volunteers with training on issues of importance to Medicare beneficiaries
- Develop materials to help SHIP programs understand Medicare benefits for LGBT people