For Consumers

Medicare Unique IDs

Who needs a Unique ID?

Role:  Volunteer and volunteer coordinator

  • Not all SHIBA volunteers need a Unique ID.
  • SHIBA issues Unique IDs to volunteers who provide complex counseling. Volunteers with Unique IDs can contact Medicare on the consumer's behalf.
  • SHIBA cannot issue a Unique ID to people who are inactive SHIBA volunteers or who are paid staff for a non-SHIBA sponsor.

Reasons to use a Unique ID

Here are some examples of when a SHIBA advisor might use a Unique ID:

  • Assist Medicare beneficiaries with researching denied claims
  • Research possible inaccurate information on Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) or Explanations of Benefits (EOBs)
  • Check on the status of the Medicare beneficiary’s enrollment
  • Check on the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding information
  • Assist with a Medicare beneficiary’s complex issues

People authorized to approve Unique IDs

Role: SHIBA program manager/administrative assistant

  • The SHIBA program manager has authority to approve Unique IDs after verifying the SHIBA advisor meets all criteria per the SHIP NPR User Manual and what is specified below.
  • The administrative assistant is fully responsible and accountable for ensuring the SHIBA advisor meets all criteria per the SHIP NPR User Manual.

Criteria SHIBA advisors must meet to get approval for a Unique ID

Role: Volunteer and volunteer coordinator

  • Clear the Washington State Patrol background check, even if he or she’s grandfathered in prior to February 2006.
  • Sign and send the Confidentiality Agreement (PDF, 15KB) to the SHIBA program office.
  • Complete the Path to Certification (PDF, 82KB), or verifiable SHIBA counseling experience.
  • Volunteer coordinator concurs that volunteer provides complex counseling.
  • Volunteer uses an email address for SHIBA-use only that is unique to them (SHIP NPR system requirement).

Initiate a request for a Unique ID from the SHIBA program office

Role:  SHIBA administrative assistant

  • Volunteer coordinator emails SHIBA to notify the administrative assistant the name of the volunteer who's requesting a Unique ID.
    Note: The SHIBA administrative assistant will route all direct requests from volunteers back through the volunteer coordinator for confirmation.
  • The administrative assistant will work with the volunteer coordinator to ensure the Unique ID criteria (see above) is in place.
  • After the volunteer meets all the criteria, the administrative assistant will notify the volunteer coordinator and volunteer.
  • The administrative assistant will send the volunteer their Unique ID number.
  • The administrative assistant will email the volunteer coordinator that the volunteer has received their Unique ID.
    Note: Once assigned, Unique IDs are not instantly activated. There's a lag time for activation. New Unique IDs should be ready to use on the first week of the following month once it’s assigned.

Inactivate a Unique ID

Role: Volunteer coordinator

The Volunteer coordinator will immediately notify the administrative assistant when a volunteer becomes inactive and indicate if they have an assigned Unique ID.

Role: SHIBA administrative assistant

The administrative assistant will inactivate the volunteer's Unique ID in SHIP NPR.

Reinstate a Unique ID

Role: Volunteer coordinator

When reactivating a volunteer, the volunteer coordinator will notify the administrative assistant so the Unique ID can be reinstated.

Role: SHIBA administrative assistant

The administrative assistant will:

  • Ensure the volunteer advisor meets all criteria prior to reactivating a Unique ID.
  • Notify the volunteer and volunteer coordinator when the Unique ID is reinstated.