CHA Asks House to Keep SHIP Funding

CHA Asks House to Keep SHIP Funding

July 19, 2016



The Honorable Harold Rogers
Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Tom Cole
Chairman, House Subcommittee on Labor
HHS, and Education Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Nita Lowey
Ranking Member, House Committee on Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Rosa DeLauro
Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on Labor HHS, and Education Appropriations
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Chairman Rogers, Ranking Member Lowey, Chairman Cole and Ranking Member DeLauro:


On behalf of California’s Medicare beneficiaries and the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP – California’s SHIP), we wish to thank you for keeping the SHIP funding in your proposed 2017 budget.

As stated in the July 6 letter undersigned by 62 organizations “SHIPs offer increasingly critical services that cannot be supplied by 1-800 MEDICARE, on-line or written materials, or other outreach activities. In fact, approximately one-third of all partner referrals to SHIP originate from Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans, local and state agencies, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Social Security Administration, and members of Congress and their staff. Additionally, these partners include SHIP contact information in their websites, publications, and correspondence to beneficiaries as the source of assistance when individuals need help.

SHIPs advise, educate, and empower individuals to navigate the increasingly complex Medicare program and help beneficiaries make choices among a vast array of options to best meet their needs. Making informed decisions among an average of 20+ prescription drug plans and 19 Medicare Advantage plans, as well as various Medigap supplemental insurance policies, can save money and improve access to quality care. Given the significant differences in premiums, cost sharing, provider networks, and coverage rules, SHIPs play a critical role in ensuring that these choices are well informed and work well for each beneficiary served.”

Founded in 1997, California Health Advocates is the leading Medicare advocacy and education non-
profit in California. We support the HICAPs with training, education, and technical assistance to ensure their staff and volunteers provide the most current and accurate information on Medicare and related topics.

We hope that you will continue to support maintain SHIP funding during the final budget negotiations. If you’d like to speak with me further, I can be reached by calling our Sacramento office at 916-231-5110.

Thank you again,

Tatiana's signature

Tatiana Fassieux
Board Chair
California Health Advocates

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.