Medicare Counseling Volunteers Needed

Calling All Volunteers: Medicare Counseling at the Area Agency on Aging, Benefits Assistance Program

Act Now. Training begins on June 7th.

By  Cindy Leecindy_ship_LOGO_for_BAP_ARTICLE500

The Benefits Assistance Program at the Area Agency on Aging in Phoenix, AZ is part of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) national network. The SHIP Program in each state is funded to provide free local help for people with Medicare, and also provides advice on benefits available to low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

More than 1 million Medicare beneficiaries live in the state of Arizona, mainly in Maricopa County. With limited funding for staff counselors, the SHIP Program relies heavily on volunteer counselors from the community. SHIP counseling in Maricopa County is given through the Benefits Assistance Program (BAP) at the nonprofit Area Agency on Aging.

SHIP staff and volunteer counselors provide free education, assistance and advocacy to Medicare seniors and disabled beneficiaries, their families and caregivers. SHIP is not affiliated with insurance companies. Counselors provide objective information about Medicare health insurance options so that beneficiaries can make informed decisions about their health care coverage.



Volunteer training consists of a broad overview of Social Security and Medicare, as well as education on low-income benefits such as Extra Help with Prescription Drugs and the Medicare Savings Programs. Training is conducted with classes one day a week over a 5-week period, followed by 16 hours of on-the-job training and shadowing.

Volunteer SHIP counselors are especially needed for counseling by phone or face-to-face at the office of the Benefits Assistance Program at the Area Agency on Aging, 1366 E. Thomas Road, Phoenix, AZ. Volunteer counselors are also located at senior centers and community centers throughout the Valley, and provide phone support at the statewide Medicare Hotline.

Medicare SHIP counseling as a Benefits Assistance Program (BAP) volunteer will keep you socially and mentally engaged while providing valuable, much-needed community service. Here’s what some of the SHIP volunteer counselors at BAP have said: 

“I like the challenge of hearing the client’s circumstances and using the Medicare knowledge I’ve gained to best advise them about the benefits available. I’ve learned so much and the clients are so appreciative. I get comments like: ‘Are hugs allowed?’”

“I love coming into the Phoenix office and volunteer counseling at BAP. We learn a lot from each other. The Program asks for a 4-hour commitment weekly. I like going in two days, so I give twice the hours. I also enjoy traveling now that my husband and I are retired.”

“People feel safe when they come to us. They know we’re not trying to sell them anything and we take the time to explain their Medicare choices. We do a lot of good at BAP.”

 Become a volunteer Benefits Assistance Program (BAP) counselor at the Area Agency on Aging.

Be a part of something important.

Acquire knowledge.

Personally help people in the community.

Training Program, Information Available

Please consider enrolling for the 5-day training program beginning Wed. June 7, 2017, continuing each consecutive Wednesday to July 5, 2017.


in June 2017. For more details, please call the Area Agency on Aging at (602) 264-2255 and ask for Benefits Assistance. BAP Director Marco Mendoza or Volunteer Coordinator Maryna Sachs will be happy to explain how you can become a valued volunteer SHIP counselor at BAP. Thank you.

Or call the office for help with your Medicare options.

Visit Benefits Assistance Website:  Visit Site

Watch Video



Cindy Lee volunteers free health insurance counseling and advocacy for Medicare beneficiaries through the Benefits Assistance Program at the Area Agency on Aging in Phoenix, a nonprofit organization serving Maricopa County. Her professional background is TV Commercial Film Production.






Author: The Peak

Published on behalf of the Greater Pinnacle Peak Association by the editorial staff.

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