State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
The First Tennessee Area Agency on Aging and Disability has a need for volunteers in the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). SHIP provides free and objective counseling and information about Medicare and related health insurance issues to Medicare beneficiaries and their families.
SHIP volunteers help Medicare beneficiaries navigate their way through an often overwhelming amount of information related to Medicare. Volunteers have flexibility in the amount of time they volunteer and the type of work they do. Opportunities include one-on-one counseling with Medicare beneficiaries, educating the community about Medicare by working at health fairs, making presentations or handing out brochures, and providing clerical support to SHIP staff and other volunteers.
If you’re interested in becoming a SHIP volunteer please click on the link below to get the process started: 2012_SHIP_Volunteer_Application
Learn About the Changes to Medicare Coverage in 2013
Discounts on Drugs in the Donut Hole
Previously, if you went into the Donut Hole in your Medicare drug plan you were responsible for 100% of the costs of your prescription drugs. If you go into the Donut Hole in 2013 you will automatically get discounts on your drugs.In 2013 you will pay 47.5% of the costs for your brand name medications and 79% of the costs of your generic drugs in the Donut Hole. These discounts will gradually increase over the next several years until the Donut Hole is completely eliminated in 2020.
Outpatient Mental Health
Previously, most outpatient mental health services were subject to a 50% co-insurance, instead of the 20% co-insurance charged for other Part B services. The mental health services co-insurance has been slowly reduced since 2011. For 2013 the co-insurance for outpatient mental health care will be 35%.
New Drugs Covered by Part D
Beginning in 2013 two classes of drugs that Medicare has excluded from coverage since Part D began will be covered. Starting January 1, 2013, Medicare drug plans will be required to cover benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ativan and Valium. They will also be required to cover barbiturates, such as Fioricet, Luminal and Nembutal, if they are used in the treatment of epilepsy, cancer, or a chronic mental disorder.
Medicare is confusing. Every year things change. Tennessee SHIP can help you find peace of mind.