Become a Counselor
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 200 counselors serve the needs of the nearly 1 million Missourians with Medicare. We’re hoping to increase that number to over 300. Our volunteers provide the local links that keep our program running.
What do Volunteer Counselors Do?
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 4 ½ 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!
Who can become 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:
- Problem-solving skills
- Computer skills, including working on the internet
CLAIM volunteers cannot work for insurance companies or sell insurance for at least one year prior to volunteering. They cannot have any potential financial gain from becoming a CLAIM volunteer counselor.
CLAIM Counselor Responsibilities
CLAIM’s Volunteer Counselors are dedicated individuals who give a great deal to improve the lives of Missourians.
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
- Commit to six hours per month of volunteer time by counseling and/or outreach activities
- Have not been active in selling insurance, or worked for an insurance company, for at least one year or have any potential financial gain from being a CLAIM volunteer counselor
- Attend a 4 day (28 hour) Medicare Training Course (click here for a schedule of initial trainings)
- Participate in 12 hours of training annually through semi-annual training classes, conferences calls, and other opportunities presented
- Ability to find information on the internet
- Offer one-on-one counseling at the counseling site, by telephone or at the home of a homebound client if the counselor feels comfortable
- Complete counseling reports for each client
- Complete events for outreach activities
- Commit to certification requirements by meeting training requirements and commitment to counseling and/or outreach activities
- Will not endorse or recommend an insurance company, policy or agent
- Keep client information confidential
- Maintain a CLAIM handbook and keep information current
- Inform community partner and CLAIM staff if unable to volunteer when scheduled (i.e., during vacation, illness, etc.)
To qualify for this volunteer position, individuals must complete an application, provide three references and sign a conflict of interest and confidentiality statement.
If using the PDF, please fax the completed form to 573-817-8341 or mail it to:
200 N. Keene St.
Columbia, MO 65201
For additional information contact the CLAIM program at 1-800-390-3330 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.