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Senior Health Insurance Program - SHIP.

The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) helps older adults understand health insurance plans, government benefits, identify fraud and it offers other free services. It uses a combination of volunteers as well as non-profits to provide free information. Find how to get help from SHIP, or the Senior Health Insurance Program.

A focus is on addressing questions and concerns with government medical insurance plans, including Medicare, Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act. However, counselors can also provide information on education services, private health insurance, social security benefits, Medicare prescription drug program enrollment and more.

Volunteers from Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) operate in every state, and many of their services are coordinated by Area Agency on Aging offices. The program is not affiliated with any insurance company, and they will not sell you any products or services.

SHIP program help with Medicare

The primary beneficiaries of SHIP are Seniors age 65 years and older. This group often requires assistance in understanding and applying to government insurance. Counselors help people navigate the complex landscape of Medicare, including Parts A, B, C, and D. In addition, younger individuals with disabilities as well as families and caregivers of Medicare beneficiaries can get help. Seniors citizens who currently receive their healthcare/insurance from Medicare, or who are considering filing for it, can get help from a SHIP office near them in a number of ways. 

Volunteers from SHIP will provide free one on one counseling sessions for those who need personal advice. There are in office visits and online consultations, or phone calls. In addition, the program’s staff or volunteers will hold presentations at senior centers, agency on aging offices and other non-profit organizations. The counselors are highly training and independent. They provide accurate, objective information to anyone who has questions and needs help. Counselors will help you understand your options so that you can make a better-informed decision when it comes to fulfilling your health care needs.

Some examples of the private counseling sessions include the following. All Senior Health Insurance Program presentations and counseling sessions are both unbiased and free. In addition, all sessions and advice provided is confidential.




  • Get information and advice on Medicare benefits including Advantage products and Supplement policies. Learn about prescription medications from Medicare Part D. There is also help in applications for programs like Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, and the Low-Income Subsidy.
  • SHIP counselors educate beneficiaries on how to recognize and avoid Medicare fraud and abuse, which is free Fraud Prevention. Learn more on how to stop fraud of seniors.
  • Many of the services also help the elderly save money on their medical bills, RX, and other living expenses.
  • Advice is also offered on private health insurance plans as well as Long-Term Care Insurance.
  • Medicare recipients, regardless of their age, can receive the most up-to-date information on all forms of state and federal government insurance plans, including Medicaid and Medicare.
  • Offering guidance on Medigap - Medicare Supplement Insurance, which helps pay some of the health care costs that original Medicare doesn't cover.
  • Helping beneficiaries understand and resolve billing or claims issues, also well as applying for assistance with their bills. Locate financial help near you.
  • SHIP volunteers assists with Long-term Care Insurance Information.. The program will give details  about this type of insurance and its relevance to Medicare.

However, if after a review, if you think those options may not be the best for you, then also learn about other possible health insurance plans, or outreach services. As there are options such as Christian Medicare.

Seniors can also apply for lower rates on their health insurance from the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. The benefits from this federal government program can be combined with Medicare. Or in those cases in which the individual is maybe retired or out of the work force, but is not eligible for Medicare yet as they are under the age of 65, then this program can fill the gap in coverage. More low priced health insurance plans.





Current Medicare beneficiaries Senior Health Insurance Program services

If you are currently receiving your health care and government insurance from Medicare, the Senior Health Insurance Program can also assist you. Representatives will answer your questions about any of the matters listed below. They will help ensure you are billed correctly, are not overcharged, are not subject to fraud, and that you are able to access the services that you are entitled too. Look here for more information to understand Medicare.

Counselors from SHIP are trained to provide accurate information and answer questions regarding almost any question on health insurance coverage for the Medicare-eligible person. Not only will they just answer questions, but they are pro-active in their support as well. They can help determine when a person with Medicare has gaps in their health insurance coverage or when they are being overcharged. Or SHIP can even advise when someone with Medicare has too much insurance coverage, including from supplemental plans. Get answers to your questions and support with the following.

Senior Health Insurance ProgramMedicare health coverage for senior citizens and for people under age 65 who have disabilities.

  • Receive information on Medicare prescription drug plans, such as part D and the “donut-hole”
  • Support for other coverage, such as long-term care insurance, home health care coverage, and retiree health plans.
  • Medicare supplemental insurance and Advantage Plans exist as well, such as HMOs and PPOs. Receive details on these resources and plans, as well as dental services for seniors over the age of 60. Look here for free government dental for seniors.
  • Apply for general financial and medical bill assistance programs for people with limited incomes.

The rules and regulations for Medicare are very complicated. If you have ever had a question about Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, Medicaid, Long Term Care insurance, or Medicare Part D, then SHIP is there for you. Or even if you have just needed help making sense of all the paperwork and claim forms, or assistance with unraveling hospital and physician bills, then this free service can assist with that as well.

The program is open to most people. All Medicare beneficiaries can get help from SHIP. The service is also available to their families and caregivers. Also, anyone is welcome to call with long term health care insurance questions, or questions about prescription drug help or Medicare billing issues for older adults.




State SHIP health information programs

All services are free. Representatives from Senior Health Insurance Program near you and the phone numbers are below.  Benefits and SHIP counselors may not recommend any insurance policy or plan to you or your family. Their main role is to provide factual, unbiased information and help you understand your options, so that you can make a better-informed decision. To learn more, call your local agency on aging office. Most centers offer a toll-free line to call.

Alabama - 1-800-243-5463

Alaska - 1-800-478-6065

Arizona - 1-800-432-4040

Arkansas - 1-800-224-6330

California - 1-800-434-0222

Colorado - 1-888-696-7213

Connecticut - 1-800-994-9422

Delaware ELDERinfo - 1-800-336-9500

District of Columbia HICP - 202-739-0668 or 202-727-8370

Florida SHINE - 1-800-963-5337

Georgia - 1-800-669-8387 or 1-866-552-4464

Hawaii - 1-888-875-9229

Idaho - 1-800-247-4422

Illinois - 1-800-548-9043 or 1-800-252-8966

Indiana SHIP program - 1-800-452-4800

Iowa - 1-800-351-4664

Kansas SHICK - 1-800-860-5260

Kentucky - 1-877-293-7447

Louisiana - 1-800-259-5300

Maine - 1-877-353-3771 or 1-800-262-2232




Maryland - 1-800-243-3425

Massachusetts SHINE - 1-800-243-4636

Michigan services are offered by MMAP - 1-800-803-7174

Minnesota - Dial the Senior LinkAge Line at 1-800-333-2433

Mississippi - 1-800-948-3090 or dial 1-844-822-4622

Missouri - 1-800-390-3330

Montana - 1-800-551-3191

Nebraska - 1-800-234-7119

Nevada - 1-800-307-4444 is the phone number to Medicare Assistance Program

New Hampshire - Call the ServiceLink Resource Center, or SHIP, at 1-866-634-9412

New Jersey - 1-800-792-8820

New Mexico - 1-800-432-2080 is the ADRC program

New York HICAP - 1-800-701-0501

North Carolina - 1-800-443-9354 or call 1-855-408-1212

North Dakota - 1-888-575-6611

Ohio OSHIIP - 1-800-686-1578

Oklahoma - 1-800-763-2828

Oregon’s program is known as SHIBA - 1-800-722-4134

Pennsylvania - 1-800-783-7067

Puerto Rico -1-800-981-7735

Rhode Island - The main SHIP intake number is 1-888-884-8721 or 401-462-4444

South Carolina - 1-800-868-9095

South Dakota - The program is known as Senior Health Information and Insurance Education (SHIINE) and call 1-800-536-8197

Tennessee SHIP service can be reached at - 1-877-801-0044

Texas HICAP - 1-800-252-9240





Utah - 1-800-541-7735

Vermont - 1-800-642-5119

Virginia VICAP - 1-800-552-3402

Virgin Islands - 340-772-7368

Washington SHIBA - 1-800-562-6900

West Virginia - 1-877-987-4463

Wisconsin - 1-800-242-1060

Wyoming - 1-800-856-4398


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