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The SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) program provides health insurance information and free, unbiased, and confidential counseling assistance to all current and prospective Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers. Through a network of specially trained volunteers, SHINE works to empower individuals to make the best decisions for their individual needs. As a SHINE/Senior Medicare Patrol Volunteer, you will help us meet our mission by performing one or all variety of functions, including:

● Provide information, counseling, assistance in person, virtual or by phone
● Deliver educational presentations
● Distribute educational and promotional materials in your community
● Assist with general program support
● Recruit additional volunteers
● Educate community partners
● Learn to protect, detect and report Medicare fraud and abuse

Volunteer Counselor

POSITION GOALS: The SHINE Counselor is an active, direct service, community-based volunteer of the SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders) Program and SHINE SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) Program to Medicare beneficiaries and others in Florida. The Counselor provides unbiased information and assistance to SHINE clients as a volunteer of the Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and the local Area Agency on Aging (AAA), Aging Resource Center (ARC) or Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) in his or her community.

PREFERRED SKILLS/QUALIFICATIONS
  • Interest in helping people and the local community.
  • Customer service mind-set including professionalism, tact and courtesy in dealing with individuals served
  • Strong listening and comprehension skills.
  • Basic computer and internet skills. Must maintain a valid individual e-mail address for training and counseling purposes.
  • Willingness to work with a culturally diverse volunteer and client population.
  • Ability to demonstrate and remain free from any conflict of interest as a counselor.
  • Successful completion of a Level II Background Check.
RESPONSIBILITIES:

The counselor works within a local SHINE area to counsel individuals who have problems with and questions about Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, Prescription Assistance, Long-Term Care Insurance/Planning, Medicare fraud, waste, and abuse, and other health insurance issues. Specific responsibilities include the following:

  • Works to implement the goals of the SHINE program and ACL by providing direct counseling assistance to Medicare beneficiaries;
  • Conducts any necessary follow up and research to answer client questions;
  • Consistently provides unbiased and free counseling assistance to individuals served by phone, and during one-on-one in-person counseling sessions;
  • Handles client information in the strictest confidence and in accordance with privacy regulations;
  • Provides referrals to appropriate agencies (Department of Children and Families, Social Security Administration, Department of Financial Services, Agency for Healthcare Administration, etc.); .
  • Accurately completes STARS Beneficiary Contacts and Group and Media Outreach Education and other reporting forms to assure continued funding;
  • Attends and completes all required SHINE training, as scheduled by the Department of Elder Affairs;
  • Attends all meetings and conference calls with other counselors for local training and ACL and CMS updates; and
  • Provides suggestions for local community partners, community events, or potential new volunteers to Area or Local Coordinators or the local SHINE Liaison.

VOLUNTEER BENEFITS: 

Ability to improve the lives of fellow citizens, professional training classes and resource materials, local and statewide volunteer recognition events for active volunteers, mentoring and technical assistance, reimbursement of pre-approved program expenses, eligibility for various recognition items or awards.

TIME COMMITMENT: Sixteen hours per month after completing initial training and mentoring; a two-year commitment to the program overall is requested. Counseling requirement to report all beneficiary contacts in STARS (SHIP Tracking and Reporting System) and SIRS (SMP Information and Reporting System).

WORK LOCATION:

May serve at community or AAA/ARC/ADRC-based counseling sites, by telephone, email, ZOOM, or at an enrollment and other community events.

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS: Required to receive and maintain active counselor status:

  • Attend Volunteer Orientation Presentation provided by local program;
  • Complete the SHINE Online Orientation Module;
  • Complete Online Training;
  • Attend a virtual 3 day interactive training via ZOOM;
  • Successful completion of Basic Training Exam with score of 80% or higher;.
  • Six mentoring sessions with a seasoned volunteer;
  • Routine local trainings and meetings

Next Step: Seniors in Service helps nonprofits throughout Tampa Bay find volunteers like you to help accomplish their mission. Fill out the form below and someone from Seniors in Service will contact you soon to walk you through the next steps to begin volunteering. In question 4, please include the words “SHINE.”