STARS - SHIP Tracking and Reporting System


The SHIP Tracking And Reporting System (STARS) is the nationwide data reporting system for the Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK), the Kansas SHIP. 

  • National, web-based data system, developed and owned by ACL OHIC
    • Contract with Booz Allen Hamilton
    • Sharing Data
      • MIPPA
      • SMP SIRS
  • All counselors are automatically entered into STARS by the State SHICK office after completion of training.
    • Counselors will be emailed their credentials automatically when their team role has been created
  • STARS Landing Page
    • Contains link to SHIP TA Center STARS training materials (including job aids, printable forms, and previously recorded webinars)
    • Contains link to Booz Allen STARS Help Desk
  • For STARS username, password, and hierarchy support (e.g. your account is locked out):
  • For STARS resources support:
    • Contact the SHIP TA Center, [email protected] or 877-839-2675.
    • Or contact your local coordinator or the State SHICK office

All SHIP contacts, including beneficiary contacts, group outreach contacts, and media outreach contacts are to be entered into STARS by the end of the month following the month of contact.

Reporting Medicare Plan Finder Issues


CMS and ACL continue to improve the process for submitting inquiries regarding Medicare Plan Finder.  The goal is to streamline feedback to make triaging easier and more focused. Based on recent years, we found there to be two categories of feedback, (1) General Feedback, and (2) Functionality Issues.   We created a process for each based on the urgency of the requests and ensuring the Medicare Beneficiary receives help immediately.

Category 1 - General Feedback = Send to [email protected]

This category includes any general feedback on changes made or suggestions for MPF improvement.  SHIPs should: 

  1. Submit feedback to ACL: [email protected]  
  2. ACL will compile and send these issues to the CMS MPF Team on a regular basis. 
  3. CMS and ACL will meet regularly throughout Open Enrollment to discuss the feedback.

 NOTE:  Last year we learned questions coming in through too many places made it difficult to track and evaluate. To further support this process, and ensure the information is getting to the appropriate teams, CMS Regional Office staff will remind SHIPs to submit MPF inquiries to the [email protected] mailbox.  

Category 2 – Functionality Issues = Call 1-800-Medicare or the 1-800 CMS Unique ID Help line

This category includes any MPF functionality issues occurring while working with a Medicare beneficiary including any issues with accounts.

Call 1-800 Medicare or the 1-800 CMS Unique ID Line for assistance. Calling 1-800 ensures the beneficiary gets the help they need as quickly as possible while also making CMS aware of the potential MPF issue for further tracking and resolution as necessary.

The 1-800 Medicare Customer Service Representative (CSR) will work to determine whether the issue is (a) unique to the beneficiary or (b) a potential MPF functionality issue and complete the following actions:

  1. Unique issues for an individual beneficiary should be resolved between the CSR and SHIP counselor. For example, account log in issues.
  2. Potential MPF functionality issues will be reported immediately by the CSR to the CMS web team.
  • To submit MPF screenshots, send a detailed email to ACL at [email protected]. The email should include:
  • Information on the issue experienced along with screen shots.
    If the issue is MPF drug pricing, please provide the following details. Without the information listed below, the MPF team can’t investigate possible issues. To better assist you in replicating your results, CMS MPF team needs the following information with all drug pricing reports as drug pricing is dependent on:
  • Drug dosage, quantity, frequency & packaging or if available the NDC# (National Drug Code) 
  • Pharmacy name and full address or if available the NPI# (National Provider Identifier)
  • Plan name, Plan type (i.e. PDP or MA) and Plan ID# (i.e. S6946-031-0)
  • Details on the interaction with the CSR.
  • Counselor’s Unique ID (if applicable),
  • Date and time that you spoke with the CSR,
  • the CSR’s name, and
  • the phone number used to call 1-800- Medicare line. 

CMS Unique ID

CMS has developed a Unique ID system for SHIP counselors that lets them obtain information from 1-800-MEDICARE as well as some MA, MA-PD, and Part D plans when they're assisting beneficiaries with claims-related issues. Under the CMS ID system, SHIP Directors assign CMS ID numbers to SHIP counselors who have signed a confidentiality agreement and have been trained to appropriately handle private information relating to the beneficiaries they counsel.

CMS ID Requirements

  • A counselor MUST BE A CERTIFIED SHICK COUNSELOR to get a Unique ID number.
  • It may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Unique ID to become active because the list is only updated monthly.

Procedure for Obtaining a CMS ID

  1. The counselor completes and signs a Confidentiality Agreement requesting a CMS ID during the annual SHICK training. The Confidentiality Agreement is part of the Training Record/Memorandum of Understanding form.
  2. After reviewing the Confidentiality Agreement, the SHICK trainer will assign a CMS ID number for the counselor through the STARS website.
  3. The CMS ID number is e-mailed to the counselor from STARS.
  4. On the last Thursday of each month, STARS uploads the CMS ID list to CMS. Newly-created CMS IDs can’t be used until this monthly upload has added them to the CMS list.
  5. Within approximately two weeks of the upload, CMS updates the CMS ID lists at 1-800-MEDICARE and the Part D plans. CSRs will not recognize newly-created CMS IDs until they receive the monthly update from CMS.


FileTypeSizeUploaded onDownload
Tip_Sheet_from_ACL__2023_MPF_PDEO_Verification_DocumentsPDF154.13 KB14 Oct, 2022 Download
Group Outreach Education FormPDF190.84 KB14 Apr, 2021 Download
Media Outreach Education FormPDF194.45 KB14 Apr, 2021 Download
STARS Beneficiary Contact FormPDF263.10 KB14 Apr, 2021 Download