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Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) HelpLine is a statewide network of trained volunteers who educate, assist, and advocate for consumers regarding their health insurance and health care access, so they can make informed decisions.
This free and confidential service is sponsored by the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. Highly trained volunteers throughout the state counsel residents of all ages regarding their choices, options and problems with private health insurance and many government programs (Medicare, Medicaid, Basic Health Plan, Children's Health Insurance Program, and the Washington State Health Insurance Pool). SHIBA HelpLine volunteer and staff are also trained to counsel people about Medigap coverage, employment-related health benefits, managed care, long-term care insurance, medical billings and fraud/abuse. Outreach to underserved populations (such as rural, low-income, and those with disabilities or cultural/language barriers) is a priority mission. The volunteers are impartial and have no affiliations with any insurance company or product. They assist people by phone, in person, and through group presentations. They are trained by expert staff of the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner; mentored by seasoned volunteers; and hosted/supported by local sponsoring agencies. SHIBA Helpline volunteers are reimbursed for an out-of-pockets (Mileage, parking, postage, etc.)expenses they may incur. To contact SHIBA HelpLine, call 1-800-397-4422 toll-free (statewide referral) or go to http://www.insurance.wa.gov/shibahelpline.htm
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