Tell Congress to Support and Fund Our SHIPs

Recent budget proposals both from the President and Congress would dramatically reduce or eliminate funding for our country’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). In California, our SHIP is called Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), serving over 5.6 million Medicare beneficiaries statewide. SHIP, HICAP in California, is a lifeline for beneficiaries struggling to understand Medicare, navigate their health care options and know and exercise their rights. SHIP offers free, one-on-one counseling and advocacy — services that simply CANNOT be replaced by 1-800-Medicare, as implied in the President’s budget.

We invite you to join us and sign and send this online letter to your Senators. This letter, created by our partners Medicare Rights Center, urges our Senators to protect funding for the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), and to keep at least level annual funding for the SHIPs at $52.1 million.

Without HICAP in California, and SHIP across the nation, millions of beneficiaries overwhelmed with understanding the A, B, C and Ds of Medicare, let alone navigating coverage options, billing issues, appeal denials, marketing fraud, enrollment into low-income protection programs, and more, would have no where to turn.

Thanks for your support and for contacting your Senators today!


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Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.