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NO. R-441.  House concurrent resolution honoring the Vermont state health insurance assistance program for its outstanding service as a Medicare informational and counseling resource.


Offered by:  Representatives O’Donnell of Vernon, Acinapura of Brandon, Adams of Hartland, Ainsworth of Royalton, Allard of St. Albans Town, Baker of West Rutland, Bissonnette of Winooski, Bostic of St. Johnsbury, Branagan of Georgia, Brennan of Colchester, Canfield of Fair Haven, Chen of Mendon, Cheney of Norwich, Clark of Vergennes, Clerkin of Hartford, Condon of Colchester, Copeland-Hanzas of Bradford, Crawford of Burke, Devereux of Mount Holly, Donaghy of Poultney, Donahue of Northfield, Donovan of Burlington, Dostis of Waterbury, Errecart of Shelburne, Evans of Essex, Fisher of Lincoln, Fitzgerald of St. Albans City, Flory of Pittsford, Frank of Underhill, Gilbert of Fairfax, Godin of Milton, Grenier of St. Johnsbury, Haas of Rochester, Howard of Rutland City, Howrigan of Fairfield, Hube of Londonderry, Hunt of Essex, Jerman of Essex, Johnson of Canaan, Keogh of Burlington, Komline of Dorset, Krawczyk of Bennington, Larocque of Barnet, Larrabee of Danville, LaVoie of Swanton, Lawrence of Lyndon, Leriche of Hardwick, Lewis of Derby, Livingston of Manchester, Maier of Middlebury, Marcotte of Coventry, Martin of Wolcott, McAllister of Highgate, McCormack of Rutland City, McDonald of Berlin, McFaun of Barre Town, McNeil of Rutland Town, Mitchell of Barnard, Moran of Wardsboro, Morrissey of Bennington, Mrowicki of Putney, Myers of Essex, Obuchowski of Rockingham, Oxholm of Vergennes, Peaslee of Guildhall, Pillsbury of Brattleboro, Pugh of S. Burlington, Scheuermann of Stowe, Shand of Weathersfield, Sharpe of Bristol, Turner of Milton, Westman of Cambridge, Wheeler of Derby, Winters of Williamstown, Wright of Burlington and Zenie of Colchester

Whereas, individuals eligible for Medicare, the federal health insurance program for those 65 and older and those with disabilities, can rely on the state health insurance assistance program (SHIP) for timely informational assistance and personal counseling advice, and

Whereas, SHIP was established nationally in 1990 as a state-based program “to provide accurate and timely information to Medicare beneficiaries while promoting informed consumer choice and independent living,” and in 1993 SHIP was introduced in Vermont, and

Whereas, SHIP not only serves Medicare beneficiaries but also health care providers, and the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) view SHIP as the ideal consumer information resource for questions related to Medicare, and

Whereas, in Vermont, SHIP has sought to maximize the geographic accessibility of its services, and in 1996 it entered a partnership with the Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), and each of the AAAs employs a regional SHIP coordinator, and

Whereas, in 2005, prior to the implementation of the Medicare Part D prescription drug program, the SHIP regional coordinators conducted over 200 information sessions across the state to educate Medicare beneficiaries concerning their prescription drug insurance options, and

Whereas, a highlight of the Part D information project was SHIP’s Medicare Road Show that was presented at each of Vermont’s 15 hospitals, and, during the first open enrollment period for Part D, SHIP and its partners enrolled 85 percent of the state’s Medicare beneficiaries, and

Whereas, during 2007, the five regional SHIP coordinators and the state director in combination supplied 7,200 hours of counseling services to over 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries and their families, and

Whereas, in recognition of the effective and valuable work that the regional coordinators perform, CMS has awarded the Vermont SHIP for a second consecutive year a Performance Plus Award in recognition of the Vermont SHIP’s high level of achievement in providing services to the state’s Medicare beneficiaries, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly honors the Vermont state health insurance assistance program for its outstanding service as a Medicare educational and counseling resource, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the director of the Vermont state health insurance program and to each of the five regional coordinators.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont