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Indiana Department of Insurance

IDOI > Medicare and SHIP > About SHIP Volunteers About SHIP Volunteers

SHIP’s volunteer staff is located state wide and provides information for those with questions about healthcare options.  

For over 10 years, SHIP has offered:

  • Free impartial health insurance information
  • Trained volunteers to assist through an 800 help line or at local sites in most Indiana counties
  • One-on-one health insurance counseling for people with Medicare
  • Presentation in local communities

SHIP Structure

State Staff– consists of State Program Director, State Trainer, clerical staff, and Counselor Assistance Consultant. State staff is responsible for development, implementation, administration, supervision, and evaluation of the program. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • State Program Director: supervises all functions of the SHIP program to ensure effective implementation.
  • State Trainer: creates a standardized curriculum for volunteer and staff training, conducts new counselor trainings, semi-annual update trainings and specialized training sessions as needed, publishes bi-weekly updates, and the SHIP’s log.
  • Clerical Staff: operates 800 helpline, gathers statewide data and submits reports to CMS, and mails materials and supplies.
  • Counselor Assistance Consultant: assists volunteer counselors with understanding and resolving insurance problems facing their clients.

Area Managers– are responsible for the local administration of SHIIP. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Volunteer Coordination – recruit and retain volunteers, provide orientations, facilitate teambuilding, provide volunteer recognition, and conduct conflict resolution.
  • Counselor Support – setup initial and update training, provide technical support and mentoring, review client assessment forms, assist with counselors’ updates, report changes in counselor status, and utilize volunteers’ abilities.
  • Sponsoring Agency Support – discuss and address organization’s needs and/or concerns, assess organization’s compliance with its agreement with the state, recommend plans for program development, act as a resource, coordinate site’s current educational and promotional materials.
  • Public Education – educate the community about SHIP’s services, conduct presentations, cover local health fairs or senior expos, and educate the public about senior health insurance options and rights.

Sponsoring Organizations– agree to sponsor the SHIP program within their agencies. They have agreed to:

  • Provide suitable space for training and counseling services and adopt the official title of “Senior Health Insurance Information Program.”
  • Assist with appointing a properly qualified individual, who may be a volunteer, as a Local Coordinator of counselor activities.
  • Ensure that the Local Coordinator has submitted Client Assessment Forms filled out by the volunteers on a monthly basis.
  • Provide telephone, copying, supplies, postage and a place to keep records in confidence.
  • Monitor the Local Coordinator’s activities and have him/her report to the Area Manager on a regular basis to ensure program integrity.
  • Assist in local publicity of SHIP services.

Local Coordinators– are responsible for the administrative aspects of their local SHIP site. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Assist the Area Manager with volunteer counselor recruitment, advertising, interviewing, scheduling, etc.
  • Receive consumer contact during normal working hours and refer the calls to a Counselor.
  • Investigate opportunities and assist with the distribution of counseling and informational materials on the local level.

Volunteer Counselors– provide objective, confidential counseling to people with Medicare. Their duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Answer questions related to Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance, Medicare managed care plans, long term care insurance, help with prescription costs, and low-income assistance.
  • Make client contacts through face-to-face appointments, local telephone calls, 800 telephone calls, presentations, and other local activities.
  • Complete a Client Assessment Form on each contact.
  • Attend semi-annual training events and keep current on update information provided by the State Office.

Apply now to become a SHIP volunteer.