CHOICES Volunteer Information

Want to make a difference in the lives of Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers? Become a Certified CHOICES Volunteer!

What is CHOICES?

CHOICES, Connecticut’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is part of a national network of programs that offer free confidential health insurance counseling, education and assistance to people with Medicare, their caregivers, and the general public. CHOICES volunteer trainings are provided through a partnership between the State Unit on Aging, CT’s five Area Agencies on Aging and the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Inc. with funding in whole or in part through a grant from the Administration for Community Living (ACL).  Beginning in 2018, ACL requires all SHIP agencies, including CHOICES, to implement state specific Volunteer Risk And Program Management policies and procedures. 

Who should become a Certified CHOICES volunteer?

Individuals who would like to make a positive difference in the lives of Medicare beneficiaries (older adults and persons with disabilities), their caregivers, and the general public. By volunteering with CHOICES, you can become an integral member of the growing effort to educate the community about Medicare and other programs that can help beneficiaries with their out of pocket medical costs. CHOICES volunteers help beneficiaries understand their options so they can make informed decisions about their healthcare coverage. CHOICES volunteers are individuals who have good listening skills, as well as, computer and internet skills. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, your first step is to attend the CHOICES New Volunteer Training.

What do you need to do?

Every year, each Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in the State of CT offers one CHOICES New Volunteer Training in their local area.  Each volunteer has a direct connection with their local CHOICES Regional Coordinator who will provide the most current and accurate Medicare related information needed to support him/her as a CHOICES volunteer.  Contact the local CHOICES CHOICES Regional Coordinator for more information about the volunteer application and screening process.

Applicants shall:
  • Participate in the CHOICES screening process which may include, background and criminal records checks
  • Participate in a half day orientation session 
  • Complete five full days of training
To become a certified CHOICES Volunteer:
  • Agree to adhere to the Volunteer Risk & Program Management policies
  • Pass the online CHOICES certification exam
  • Sign the CHOICES Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) 
To maintain CHOICES certification:
  • Comply with Volunteer Risk and Program Management policies
  • Report into the SHIP National Performance Reporting system
  • Attend CHOICES Quarterly Update Trainings
  • Every three years take the online CHOICES re-certification exam and sign the MOU
What you will learn?

CHOICES New Volunteer and Update Trainings include topics and issues related to Medicare such as:
  • Medicare Parts  A, B, C & D
  • Medigap (Medicare supplemental insurance) 
  • Medicaid (Title 19) 
  • Medicare Savings Programs 
  • Medicare Advantage Plans 
  • Medicare/Medicaid Fraud Abuse Detection and Prevention  
  • Enrollment and Disenrollment Information 
  • Medicare Rights 
  • Counselor Skills
How much does the CHOICES New Volunteer Training Cost?

The training is free for volunteers. A $125 fee is required for paid professionals. Insurance agents, brokers and financial planners are not eligible to take the training. 

CHOICES Volunteer Risk & Program Management (VRPM) Materials

CHOICES VRPM materials are located in the Resource Library of the SHIP TA Center CHOICES volunteers who have taken the CHOICES online exam and have an active account are able to gain access to CHOICES VRPM materials which include:

• CT SMP & CHOICES Volunteer Risk & Program Management Policy Manual
• CHOICES Volunteers VRPM Handbook

For additional information about the CHOICES program please contact Akia Dieuseul, CHOICES Statewide Coordinator, at (860) 424-5286 or  

Content Last Modified on 3/16/2018 3:43:49 PM