April is recognized as National Volunteer Appreciation Month. Then May is Older Americans Month and the theme this year is “Get into the Act.” Our SHIP volunteers have been getting into the act through delivering community presentations, providing information at health fairs, counseling individuals on their options and benefits, and assisting beneficiaries with appeals for denied benefits.
SHIP: New name; still the same
At this point you’re thinking to yourself, “there is another program in Hawaii called the Sage PLUS Program and they do the exact same thing?” We are one in the same — we have just transitioned and are using our national network name to hopefully make things a bit less confusing (in the 2015 Medicare & You hand book it mentions the SHIP program approximately 20 times).
Get Into the Act as a SHIP Volunteer
State Health Insurance Assistance Program volunteers are our most valuable assets. They are the friendly voices that return your calls to our hotline; they provide outreach services on a regular basis at many of our Social Security Offices statewide. To meet the needs of our beneficiaries, volunteers have even provided a health insurance presentation at 6 am in the morning! You may interact with our volunteers at health fairs or in our office, discussing options or counseling on benefits. But there are many others that you may never see, playing very important roles behind the scene to support our programs. These volunteers enter data, put together presentations and health fair packets. They tirelessly and joyfully provide clerical assistance. Customer service specialists look up and gather information for the volunteer who will be assigned to assist you. We also have volunteers who work on special assignments such as Secret/Mystery Shopping, or testing of new materials and other short-term projects. We are now looking for volunteers who are interested in social media and would like to help us keep the online conversation about health insurance going!
Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age (for some special projects we will at times accept persons below 18, with parental permission) and have an interest in helping their community. We do not accept volunteers who hold an active health insurance license. SHIP is statewide, so tell your friends we are currently looking for volunteers on all islands. Don’t hesitate “Get into the Act” and become a SHIP volunteer!
To all our current and future SHIP volunteers — Mahalo Nui Loa. To contact us for more information visit our website or love us on Facebook!!!