Forty-nine representatives issued a joint letter in March 2020 to the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, rejecting proposals to cut or eliminate funding to the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
Both of these vital services help meet the ongoing needs of older Americans, SHIP providing essential assistance with accessing Medicare benefits and SCSEP providing on-the-job training to help unemployed, low-income individuals.
As the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education works on the fiscal year (FY) 2021 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, 49 representatives are requesting adequate funding for two programs that are essential to seniors nationwide: the Medicare State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).
- SHIP provides older adults, people with disabilities, and their families with unbiased, cost-free, and personalized information to help them navigate Medicare enrollment and obtain benefits. With Medicare often being confusing to seniors and their caregivers, SHIP has played a role in helping provide critical answers, including comparing plan benefits and. making a selction that takes into account all the factors that impacts out of pocket costs and network access.
- SCSEP is the only federal job training program targeted at unemployed, low-income individuals who are 55 years old and older. While SCSEP participants are diverse, including 65 percent women, 12 percent veterans, and 38 percent over age 65, they all enter the program with significant barriers to employment. SCSEP increases economic self-sufficiency through the paychecks they earn during their community training.
Download and read the letter organized by the House Democratic Caucus Task Force on Aging & Families signed by 49 Members urging for funding increases in FY21 for SHIP and SCSEP.