Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced new requirements for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) grants to increase beneficiaries’ awareness about certain provisions in the Affordable Care Act. The effort aims to shed light on new Medicare prevention and wellness benefits, fraud initiatives, including how beneficiaries can help with fraud detection and reporting, and annual election period changes for 2011. The SHIPs provide personalized, one-on-one counseling, information, education and outreach to help people understand their new Medicare benefits. During the 2010 Fiscal Year, CMS provided $45 million in direct SHIP grants and support contracts available with approximately $41.6 million for basic SHIP grant awards and an additional $1.5 million in performance awards.
“SHIPs are a key partner in our efforts to ensure that seniors and persons with disabilities who rely on Medicare are aware of the new benefits available to them under the Affordable Care Act,” said CMS Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D.