When Lou Medeiros retired in 2008 from a career as a toolmaker, he had to make important decisions about his health coverage. So he read about all his options, then went down to the East Providence Senior Center to ask a few questions. The staff were so impressed with his knowledge that they asked him to be a volunteer and help other people with their health plan decisions.
Lou joined the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by East Bay Community Action Program and started volunteering at the senior center. Nine years later, Lou has assisted hundreds of clients and saved them thousands of dollars.“I search through all the prescription drug plans in the state to help people find the lowest cost plan for their medications. I helped one client find a new plan that cut her costs from $12,000 a year to $1,000 a year. It really makes me feel like I’m making a difference.”
Interested in giving volunteering a try? BCBSRI is partnering with state agencies to create Second Act—a new program for our members that aims to connect BlueCHiP for Medicare members like Lou with volunteer opportunities, from being a foster grandparent to serving meals to tutoring. Hundreds of local organizations could benefit from your skills and experience. To find a good match for your interests, contact these state agencies:
Lou says that he never had time to volunteer before he retired. “But now I have an extra 40 hours a week that I’m not working,” he says. “Try a few hours a day or a few hours a week, whatever you can spare. I think you’ll find it really rewarding.”
Studies have found that volunteering: