Medicare announces financial support for SHIPs for 2012

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid presented the following news release:

Almost $46.5 million for basic grant funding will be allocated to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) to support people with Medicare Plan get more information about their health benefits and choices, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced today.

The fiscal year 2012 grant is a non-competitive extension of the SHIP grant from the prior annual grant period. These grants are accessible to the 54 SHIP organizations in the United States and its territories. The funding is available to SHIPs for the grant year April 1, 2012 through March 31, 2013.

The SHIPs offers quality Medicare Plan information to beneficiaries at the local level and help ascertain that impartial one-on-one counseling is provided to those requiring access to health insurance and prescription drug coverage, according to Tavenner.

These grants are the first of two rounds of funding to be distributed to SHIPs in fiscal year 2012. Performance grants is planned to be distributed to SHIPs in September on the basis of their performance and achievements in the previous grant year. Performance award grant funding will allow SHIPs to develop new strategies to fortify their community-based networks.

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