SHIBA

SHIBA stands for Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance. It is a program run by the State of Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services.

SHIBA can:

  • help Medicare beneficiaries make better health insurance decisions
  • provide confidential, uniform, and objective health insurance assistance to Medicare beneficiaries
  • identify gaps in insurance laws and regulations, and communicate those problems to policy makers
  • support and recognize the efforts of volunteers

Why was SHIBA created?

Health insurance and the wide array of state and federal programs confuse some seniors. Many Oregon seniors have too much or inappropriate health insurance. Others don't get all their medical claims paid because they're overwhelmed by the paperwork. Many Medicare beneficiaries pay too much out of their own pockets and don't participate in programs that may help them.

SHIBA helps Oregon's seniors avoid these pitfalls and enjoy all the benefits to which they're entitled.

SHIBA is funded by the federal Health Care Financing Administration's Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance grant program.

SHIBA is part of the Insurance Division's Consumer Protection Section, which:

  • investigates complaints
  • provides advocacy services for consumers
  • provides useful information to help consumers make the best possible decisions about their insurance coverage

What are SHIBA's services?

SHIBA provides the following services through a statewide network of volunteers:

  • INFORMATION
    Through SHIBA, consumers have access to a range of information and materials through a toll-free hotline. SHIBA staff also conduct education seminars for groups interested in senior health insurance issues.
  • COUNSELING
    SHIBA volunteers provide one-on-one counseling at community sites or in homes. Volunteers help seniors decide if they're eligible for benefits they're not receiving, compare insurance policies, file claims, and make effective appeals and complaints.
  • ASSISTANCE ACTIVITIES
    SHIBA volunteers are trained to make referrals to federal, state, and county offices and to identify potential insurance violations.

To use any of these services, call the Jackson County SHIBA sponsor at (541) 857-7780, or the Department of Consumer and Business Services at 1-800-722-4134.

Volunteer Opportunities

SHIBA's success is built on a statewide network of trained volunteers.

A good volunteer candidate is someone who:

  • enjoys helping others
  • is dependable, understanding, patient, and compassionate
  • has good communication skills
  • can protect client confidentiality
  • has no conflict of interest
  • wants to provide SHIBA services

If these qualities describe you, please call 1-800-722-4134 and ask for a SHIBA volunteer application. During the past five years, SHIBA volunteers have saved Oregon Medicare beneficiaries more than $500,000.

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