For Consumers

Become a Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisor (SHIBA) volunteer

Why volunteer for SHIBA?

You can make a difference in the life of a senior citizen or someone with a disability. Not only does volunteering offer vital help to people in need and the community, but the benefits can be even greater for the volunteer as it:

  • Connects you to others.
  • Helps reduce stress and combats depression.
  • Keeps you mentally stimulated and provides a sense of purpose.
  • Is good for your overall physical health, which prolongs your life.
  • Helps get you out of the house and involved in your community.
  • Brings fun and fulfillment to your life.
  • Meet new friends.

How SHIBA volunteers help others

  • Assess Medicare coverage needs
  • Determine general eligibility for health care coverage programs.
  • Evaluate and compare health plans and programs.
  • Provide Medicare enrollment help. 
  • Speak with 1-800-MEDICARE on clients’ behalf.
  • Make referrals to other agencies/programs.
  • Collect and report possible fraud complaints.
  • Make public presentations to local groups.
  • Provide clerical support.
  • Participate in outreach activities.

We offer volunteer positions for all interests

  • Counsel others
  • Provide clerical support
  • Participate in outreach activities
  • Give presentations to the public
  • Work on special projects

What's required?

You don’t have to know Medicare - we’ll teach you by providing you with training. You just need to have a passion for helping others and want to learn!

Get more information about the opportunities and expectations of volunteering with SHIBA (PDF, 106KB).

Request a volunteer application.

Hear other volunteer testimonials

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) volunteers (known as SHIBA here in Washington state) share their rewarding volunteer experiences with you:

Video one (2:57 minutes):  SHIP interview Charles Reese Medicare Counselor (

Video two (2 minutes):  SHIP interview Gary Schwartz (

Video three (3:19 minutes):  SHIP interview William Chao (