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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2012

Dept of Insurance Receives Performance Grant Award for Senior Health Insurance Program
State moves up to #7 nationwide for counseling people about Medicare Choices

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) Director Andrew Boron today announced the Department will receive a federal grant for its Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP.)  DOI received notification, Monday, from the U. S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that DOI will receive the FY 2012 SHIP Performance Award in the amount of $136.996.  The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free counseling and advocacy program for Medicare beneficiaries of any age, their families, or caregivers who have questions or problems with health insurance issues. 

Illinois excels in several areas related to exemplary performance for its Senior Health Insurance Program.  In addition to the grant award, CMS notified DOI that SHIP has moved up in rank to seven among the 54 SHIPs nationwide.  Earlier this year in April, DOI received recognition for its high ranking received on its National Performance Reporting (NPR) stats.    
 
“We are pleased to receive the grant and appreciate the recognition about our service.  Last year, SHIP staff and volunteer counselors provided direct assistance to more than 165,000 people on Medicare.  This grant will support existing services for people with Medicare who get assistance and information about their health benefits and choices,” said Director Boron. 

Illinois will distribute the grant, which runs through March 2013, to its190 existing local offices statewide to enhance services provided to clients.  Many SHIP affiliates have also used grant money in ways such as investing in better technology to enroll and monitor beneficiaries or developing marketing materials.

“Every person on the SHIP staff should be very proud of this achievement.  I applaud the hard working coordinators and counselors in the field and encourage everyone to keep up the good work,” said Robin Dinardo, Acting Program Director of the Senior Health Insurance Program. 

The Department’s mission is to protect consumers by providing assistance and information, by efficiently regulating the insurance industry’s market behavior and financial solvency, and by fostering a competitive insurance marketplace. The Department assists consumers with all insurance complaints, including health, auto, life, and homeowner. For more information, visit the Department’s web site at insurance.illinois.gov or call our toll-free hotline at (866) 445-5364.  The SHIP phone number is (800) 548-9034.
 



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