We want to say a big thank you to our 300-plus SHIBA volunteers!

April is National Volunteer Recognition Month and every year we recognize the volunteers in Washington state who help people make decisions about Medicare.

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors logo from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors, also known as SHIBA, are part of the Washington state Office of the Insurance Commissioner. A network of trained volunteer counselors help people statewide understand their Medicare insurance options and rights. SHIBA provides free, unbiased and confidential help with all kinds of Medicare-related questions and issues.

It is an understatement to say that 2020 was a challenging year. Our 300 SHIBA volunteers stepped up in the midst of once-in-a-century pandemic to help their fellow Washingtonians during a time of deep uncertainty and extraordinary challenges.

Our volunteers pivoted to virtual methods of outreach, including phone calls and Zoom meetings, to ensure everyone’s safety. Using those methods, they helped 55,000 people make decisions about Medicare and other health care choices. They talked to more than 25,000 people at 740 virtual outreach events around the state. All told, they donated over 40,000 hours of their time.

Our volunteers like Dick Anderson and Judy Edgmand, featured in this video, are truly the heart and soul of SHIBA and we thank them for their dedication and commitment.

You can get help from SHIBA or learn more about becoming a volunteer. Call us at 1–800–562–6900 or visit us online for more information.

Contact SHIBA at 1–800–562–6900 or www.insurance.wa.gov/shiba
Contact SHIBA at 1–800–562–6900 or www.insurance.wa.gov/shiba

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler regulates the insurance industry and protects insurance consumers.