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North Dakota Insurance Department counseling program ranked number one in nation
 
BISMARCK, N.D.-North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm announced today that the North Dakota Insurance Department's State Health Insurance Counseling program (SHIC) has been ranked number one in the nation by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for its performance in 2008. 

As a result of the ranking, the SHIC program earned the largest performance award in the nation of nearly $56,000 for outstanding achievements in 2008. Of the total grant, $35,000 is a performance award. 

"Being ranked number one in the nation is a direct result of the hard work and dedication of the people in the Insurance Department and our partnering organizations and volunteers across the state," Hamm said. "This additional funding will allow us to reach out to more North Dakotans who have questions about Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplements." 

The Insurance Department is reaching out to North Dakotans this fall during the upcoming Medicare Part D annual enrollment period. The Department is once again holding 10 enrollment events around the state in November and December, doing drug plan comparisons for Medicare beneficiaries. The Department has also enlisted the help of 2-1-1 to accept calls from consumers who want drug plan comparisons. 

CMS has distributed performance awards since 2006 using data reported through a national performance reporting system. North Dakota was ranked number two last year. Performance criteria include the number of beneficiaries that SHIC serves in one-on-one counseling sessions and in public education and outreach events, and the number of counselors recruited and trained to provide community-based assistance to Medicare beneficiaries. 

SHIC offers free and confidential help with Medicare and other health insurance. For more information, call 1-888-575-6611 or visit www.nd.gov/ndins. 

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North Dakota Insurance Department
600 E. Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, ND 58505-0320
Phone 701.328.2440
Toll free 800.247.0560
Fax 701.328.4880

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