Action Alert: Tell Your Legislators to Keep SHIP Funding

Posted June, 23 2016 by Taylor Frazier

The Senate Appropriations Committee FY 2017 Bill seeks to eliminate funding for the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs). SHIPs’ mission is to empower, educate, and assist Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers through outreach, counseling, and training to make informed Medicare-related health insurance decisions. In 2015, more than 7 million Medicare beneficiaries received help from SHIPs, and the individualized assistance they provide has almost tripled over the past decade.

SHIPs are an especially critical resource for low-income older adults and people with disabilities who receive Medicare. SHIPs help Medicare beneficiaries maximize their income and resources by supporting them in selecting programs best suited to their health and financial needs. In 2015, SHIPs assisted nearly 1.3 million individuals with incomes below 150 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. New York’s SHIP saved beneficiaries over $100 million. Existing HHS resources (for example, 1-800 MEDICARE, on-line and written materials) and other outreach activities cannot provide the services that SHIPs currently offer.

HCFANY strongly opposes the provisions in the Senate Appropriations Committee FY 2017 Bill that eliminate Funding for SHIPs. SHIPs are an integral part of the health services network for Medicare beneficiaries and should have the full support of Congress.

Tell your members of Congress to Protect SHIPs from this unprecedented funding cut.

You can view HCFANY’s full Statement in Opposition to the FY 2017 Labor, HHS & Education Appropriations Bill here.