Insurance Insights

September 26 - October 2, 2016

AID welcomes CMS to Arkansas

By Allen Kerr

This week I was proud to welcome representatives from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and senior advocates from Arkansas and other states to my hometown of Jacksonville for the 2016 Train the Trainers Seminar. The program, conducted nationwide by CMS, provides training for advocates so that they are able to best help seniors navigate the Medicare system.

The event was organized by Arkansas Insurance Department staff from our Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP). Our SHIIP program made contact with over 26,000 Arkansas seniors in 2015, and is on pace to meet that number again this year.

While there, I met a representative from the Louisiana Department of Insurance who was attending the seminar, as well as many friends from central Arkansas who were taking the time to learn the best practices available in order to become the best advocates for our seniors. I was very grateful to see so many answering the call to assist seniors navigate Medicare and help sign up new enrollees as they turn 65.

All Arkansans planning their retirements – especially those age 64 – should make sure to add “applying for Medicaid” to their to-do lists.

We know that planning for the future can be unsettling, but it is imperative to develop a strategy. “Baby boomers” are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day, and too many are behind in their retirement planning. As Insurance Commissioner, I am committed to helping Arkansas seniors realize retirement security by offering tips to take some of the fear and guesswork out of planning ahead.

That is why this weeks training event was so important. Signing up for Medicare is but one component of the proper planning needed to allow Arkansans to make the right decisions to ensure a dignified retirement. If you are interested in assisting seniors, or if you wish to know more in order to help members of your family, I invite you to contact our SHIIP Department at 501-371-2782.

It is my pleasure to continue to serve you as your Insurance Commissioner. For more information on the Arkansas Insurance Department, please visit, follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at  

Allen Kerr was appointed Arkansas Insurance Commissioner on Jan. 13, 2016, by Governor Asa Hutchinson.