About the Health Assistance Partnership
The Health Assistance Partnership (HAP) works with State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) to build their capacity to educate, counsel, and assist Medicare beneficiaries, so they can make informed health care decisions. HAP is a project of Families USA.
A SHIP network fully resourced to empower Medicare beneficiaries with the tools and information they need to secure affordable health coverage and access appropriate services in order to improve their health, economic well-being and quality of life.
What Does HAP Do?
HAP maintains a strong belief in, and commitment to, the national SHIP network and the Medicare population it serves. In doing so, HAP focuses its efforts on the following key education and advocacy activities:
- Provide Medicare education and training materials on key issues affecting SHIPs and Medicare beneficiaries.
- Advocate on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries by identifying systemic issues affecting beneficiaries and addressing the underlying policy by making recommendations to policymakers.
- Advocate for increased federal funding for SHIPs.
- Engage in public education activities to promote the critical value of SHIPs with key stakeholders.
- Share information and provide updates to the SHIP community, and seek feedback to inform our work.
In addition to these activities, HAP has developed an array of tools and resources in partnership with SHIP programs. We encourage you to use and customize these tools as you continue to strengthen your programs to meet the growing and diverse needs of Medicare beneficiaries.
- Best Practices: This center highlights the outstanding projects of SHIPs — in the areas of Medicare education, outreach, and training and management — who have shared their tools and resources over the years.
- Collaborative State Projects: Over the course of several years, HAP engaged in intensive partnerships with select SHIPs — called a Collaborative State Project or CSP — to help address a specific need or challenge. Information on the partnership process and the outcomes are available for SHIPs to use to address their own challenges.
- HAPSavers: A HAPSaver is a quick "how-to" tip sheet on a specific topic that addresses an area of SHIP program operations. Because HAPSavers are based on research and experiences from the field, they offer practical advice to help SHIPs carry out and expand their daily activities in the areas of technology and certification.
- Medicare Library: Our Medicare Library includes Medicare education and training tools on Original Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Part D, and low-income benefits. These tools and others, including our FAQ Resource Center, conference calls, and SHIP Resource Guides, are available to help SHIPs train their counselors to effectively educate and counsel their clients..
- SHIP Certification: HAP has compiled resources to help strengthen your certification program. Learn about the methods employed by other SHIP programs, including training, testing, mentoring, and exercises, or explore certification strategies used by other volunteer programs.
- SHIPTools: A web-based management system developed by HAP and SHIPs is now available through Gradient Blue.
- Volunteer and SHIP Program Development: In collaboration with SHIPs, HAP has developed an array of volunteer recruitment, training, and management resources to help SHIPs develop volunteer programs that meet their specific needs.