Become a Counselor

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CLAIM is always seeking new volunteers who want to help others in their community. Our certified counselors help people understand their Medicare healthcare benefits and assist them on a one-on-one basis. Volunteer counselors form the heart of the CLAIM program. As a community-based effort, the program is founded on the principle of neighbors helping neighbors.

Currently over 300 counselors serve the needs of the nearly 1 million Missourians with Medicare.  Our volunteers provide the local links that keep our program running. “Our goal is to give them information and to put a smile on their face,” CLAIM volunteer Don Fues said. “I had one person who gave us their list of meds. Without insurance — they were a cancer patient — their meds for the year would be $80,000. Doing what we could do with the level of income that they had their medications would cost them nothing. I felt good about that.”

Hear more about what Fues has to say about his service as a CLAIM volunteer: 

 

Questions To Ask

  • Are you currently volunteering somewhere else? If so, will you have time for this new commitment and how much time
  • What do you like about volunteering?
  • Are you a good listener?
  • What do you hope to get out of our program?
  • Do you like working with people, especially older people?
  • Do you feel you can ask personal health and financial question?
  • Do you have any special training or specific skills?
  • Do you like using a computer and able to find information on the Internet?

 

Who can be a counselor

Nearly any adult can become a volunteer counselor for CLAIM. They come from all walks of life. Many former clients become volunteers. They say they are impressed by the knowledge of our counselors and see the need to spread that knowledge to others. Others are retirees seeking a way to serve their community. Still others work in areas such as senior centers where they frequently hear questions about Medicare. By becoming a CLAIM volunteer, they are better able to do their day-to-day job while also helping a good cause.

The ideal volunteer has:

  • Dedication
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Computer skills, including working on the internet

**CLAIM volunteers cannot work for insurance companies, sell insurance and/or hold an insurance license for at least one year prior to volunteering. They cannot have any potential financial gain from becoming a CLAIM volunteer counselor.**

 

 

What do counselors doJPG

Our certified counselors provide the majority of answers to Missourians with Medicare questions.

When someone asks CLAIM for help, we gather their contact information and try to get a basic understanding of the problem or concern. Then we send this information to a certified CLAIM counselor in their area. The counselor contacts the person by phone and answers their questions or, when necessary, will meet in person to tackle tougher problems. (Our Partner Organizations provide counselors with a safe, neutral location for one-on-one meetings.)

We ask that counselors provide at least six hours of volunteer time each month.

Our staff provides extensive training, beginning with a 3-day Medicare Training Course to certify our volunteers as Counselors. Following that, this certification is maintained through continuing education & trainings, keeping them up-to-date on the latest Medicare information.

We also look for volunteers who have other talents. Some of our volunteers prefer to specialize in data-entry, or others have past experience working in graphic design or accountancy. We welcome your unique skills to our program!

CLAIM Counselor Responsibilities

Because of the complexity of the Medicare program and the need to protect the confidentiality of those we serve, CLAIM Counselors are responsible for the following:

  • Complete the Volunteer Application and sign the Volunteer Agreement and Confidentiality forms.
  • Give three to six hours per month (36-72 hours annually) of volunteer time via counseling and/or outreach activities.
  • Have not been active in selling insurance, worked for an insurance company, and/or held an insurance license for at least one year prior to volunteering. CLAIM volunteers cannot have any potential financial gain from being a CLAIM volunteer counselor.
  • Attend a 3-day Medicare Training and complete online training courses (training schedule below).
  • Participate in 12 hours of training annually through continuing education training classes, conferences calls, webinars and other opportunities presented.
  • Ability to use the internet to find information to better assist beneficiaries.
  • Offer one-on-one counseling at the counseling site, outreach events, by telephone or at the home of a homebound client (if the counselor feels comfortable).
  • Complete online counseling contact reports for each client assisted.
  • Complete and submit proper form for outreach activities where CLAIM staff is not present.
  • Complete annual certification exam.
  • Will not endorse or recommend an insurance company, policy or agent.
  • Keep client information confidential.
  • Maintain CLAIM handbook (provided) and keep information current.
  • Inform community partner and CLAIM staff if unable to volunteer when scheduled (i.e., during vacation, illness, etc.)

 

IT Schedule

 

Video Orientation

 

Time to Apply

To qualify for this volunteer position, individuals must complete an application, provide three references and sign a conflict of interest and confidentiality statement.

To get started, fill out the online CLAIM Volunteer Application or download the PDF version (PDF document).

Apply Online Icon

If using the PDF, please fax the completed form to 573-817-8341 or mail it to:
CLAIM Program
200 N. Keene St.
Suite 101
Columbia, MO 65201

For additional information contact the CLAIM program at 1-800-390-3330 or via our contact form.

Interested in our AmeriCorps volunteer opportunities?  

Click on the AmeriCorps logo below for more information.

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