Our Benefits & Advocacy volunteer programs are unique and offer a great deal of service to the community and older adults. Volunteers of these programs report that they feel a sense of contribution in the lives of older adults, caregivers, and families.

    Whether your choice for volunteering is working with benefits counseling through the State Health Insurance Program (SHIP), helping everyday consumers fight against health care fraud and abuse through the Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP), or by advocating to improve the quality of life and the quality of care of residents in long-term care facilities as an Ombudsman volunteer, our volunteer programs are here to help YOU!

Volunteer Requirements

  • Must fill out agency application and list 3 references
  • Finger print card and DES registry clearance (agency paid)
  • A maximum commitment of 4 hours per week with flexible volunteer hours
  • Confidentiality requirements
  • Conflict of Interest Screen
  • Core specialty and certification training
  • Monthly reporting requirements
  • Update and refresher training

Volunteer Benefits and Support

  • Mileage reimbursement pay for travel and meals
  • Educational and personal identification for volunteer designation
  • Yearlong recognition and guidance
  • Annual recognition event
  • Area Agency on Aging and regional sponsored conferences
  • Volunteer mentoring
  • Educating and empowering others
  • Problem resolution and advocacy
  • Fulfillment and joy of helping others

Senior Medical Patrol    The Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Program is designed to involve retired professionals as volunteers in the education of their peers, in safeguarding the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The Program grew from the development and success of the Operation Restore Trust launched in 1995 under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

         The Senior Medicare Patrol volunteers are part of the SHIP program.  They are seniors who help fight and prevent Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse.  The Senior Medicare Patrol is a vital and important part of the senior community.

The Senior Medicare Patrol Volunteers:medical-patrol

  • Increase public awareness of health care fraud and costs
  • Define what constitutes fraud/abuse
  • Teach how to identify, report, and prevent fraud and abuse
  • Develop an anti-fraud plan
  • Provide individual or group presentations
  • Become familiar with reporting methods to various report agencies
    The State HeSHIP Logoalth Insurance Assistance program, or SHIP, provides free objective information about insurance and benefits. The program assists community members with Medicare, supplemental claims information, appeals and resolving problems.

     A free health benefits counseling program for Medicare beneficiaries and families or caregivers. Our mission is to educate, advocate, counsel and empower people to make informed benefits decisions. SHIP is an independent program developed by federal agencies and is not affiliated with the insurance industry. The program is a partnership of the Department of Economic Security Division of Aging and Adult Services and the Area Agencies on Aging.

    SHIP Volunteer Counselors are trained and certified to offer confidential one-on-one assistance. They do not sell, recommend, or endorse any specific insurance product, agent, or insurance company.

SHIP Volunteer Specialists can help with:SHIP

  • Medicaid (AHCCCS) eligibility, benefits and claim filing
  • Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)
  • Long Term Care Insurance information
  • Medicare Secondary Payor
  • Other types of health benefits
  • Medigap insurance
  • Medicare Advantage Plan options and enrollment
  • Medicare Cost Sharing program (SMB, SLMB, QI1) and other dual eligible enrollment
  • Medicare/Medicaid Fraud, Waste and Abuse
  • Information regarding Medicare costs and deductibles
  • “Extra Help” programs designed to assist with out-of-pocket costs
  • Information & assistance for Social Security programs- Low Income Subsidy (LIS), SSI and SSDI

      The LonOmbudsman Logog Term Care Ombudsman Program helps to improve the quality of life and the quality of care of residents living in long term care facilities. Routine visits are made to facilities to monitor conditions and address residents’ complaints.

     The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program grew out of efforts to respond to widely reported concerns that our most frail and vulnerable citizens, those living in long term care facilities, were subject to abuse, neglect and substandard care. These residents also lacked the ability to exercise their rights, or voice complaints about their circumstances. The primary purpose of the Ombudsman Program is to identify, investigate, and resolve complaints made by, or on behalf of residents of long-term care facilities.

The Volunteer Ombudsman:Ombudsman Volunteers

  • Will make every reasonable effort to assist, advocate and intervene on behalf of the resident
  • Respects the resident and the complainant’s confidentiality when investigating complaints
  • Will focus complaint resolution on the residents’ wishes
  • Educates residents, family, facility staff and the community regarding resident rights and various options of long term and assisted care
  • Identifies problem issues related to resident’s quality of care
  • Investigates and attempts to resolve complaints made by or on behalf of residents
  • Advocates and empowers residents and or family members to speak up on behalf of themselves for change if needed
  • Reports to authority agencies areas of abuse, neglect and exploitation

     Long Term Care Ombudsman receive specialized training and are designated by the State Long Term Care Ombudsman. They routinely visit long term care facilities to provide residents with easy access to Ombudsman services, provide advocacy and mediation services in the long term care facilities and work to improve the quality of care and the quality of life of residents.