WHAT IS SHIP?
The Senior Health Insurance Program is a national program of the Administration
for Community Living, an operating division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. SHIP is supported through state and federal partnerships that are not reimbursed by private health insurance plans or entities. SHIP is not paid per enrollment it is federally funded by the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL) .
HISTORY OF SHIP PROGRAM:
SHIPs were created under the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990. This section of the law authorized the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to make grants to states to establish and maintain health insurance advisory service programs for Medicare beneficiaries. Grant funds were made available to support information, counseling, and assistance activities related to Medicare, Medicaid, and other health insurance options such as: Medicare Supplement insurance, long-term care insurance, and managed care options. Authorized in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, SHIP was transferred from CMS to the Administration for Community Living (ACL) in 2014. This transfer reflects the existing formal and informal collaborations between the SHIP programs and the networks that ACL serves.
It works with state offices, local agencies, grantees and community providers by establishing a network of counselors and volunteers. These volunteers assist individuals in-person, by phone, or conducting group presentations using media sources to provide free impartial information, counseling and education regarding Medicare health insurance benefits & options. This enables individuals to make informed decisions regarding their Medicare health insurance options. (1) SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company. SHIP Counselors Do not sell or solicit any type of insurance.
There are 54 SHIP grantees (one in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). SHIP services are delivered by State Units on Aging or State Departments of Insurance in partnerships with their local Area Agencies on Aging and other community-based partners. Nationally, SHIP oversees a network of more than 2,200 local sites and over 12,500 team members, including staff, in-kind professionals, and volunteers. In addition to SHIP services, many grantees provide Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) program services, which help Medicare beneficiaries protect, detect, and report healthcare fraud, errors, and abuse.
Most states kept the SHIP name.
Others another name such as:
· Florida – SHINE - Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders
· Kansas – SHICK - Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas
· Michigan – MMAP – Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistive Program
· North Carolina -SHIIP - Medicare & Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program
· Ohio – OSHIP – Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program
It offers a chance to give something back to their community and/or it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or build on existing experience and knowledge. SHIPs offer a variety of local volunteer roles. To learn more about becoming a volunteer for SHIP, go to https://www.shiphelp.org/volunteer and select your state under “Find Local Medicare Help" and call today. (2)
WHAT DOES SHIP DO?
· Provides educational materials and brochures.
· Educates beneficiaries so they can understand Medicare, file claims, and appeal Medicare decisions.
· Informs consumers of their rights as a Medicare beneficiary or health insurance policyholder.
· Shows consumers how to evaluate the various Medicare Part D (prescription drugs), Supplement, Medicare Advantage, and Long-Term Care Insurance policies currently available.
· Refers clients to appropriate agencies where they can get help with other needs.
· Provides speakers to make presentations to groups. (3)
STATE HEALTH INSURANCE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
SHIP National Technical Assistance Center
Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging
3840 W 9th St
Waterloo, IA 50702
Department of Elder Affairs
4040 Esplanade Way, Suite 270
Tallahassee, FL 32399-7000
Toll Free: 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337)
Department of Human Services
Division of Aging Services
2 Peachtree St. NW 29th Floor ATLANTA, GA 30303
Call: (877) 423-4746
Illinois Department on Aging One Natural Resources Way, #100 Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Call: (800) 252-8966; 711
Indiana Department Of Insurance
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
Kansas Department of Aging & Disability Services
New England Building
503 S. Kansas Ave.
Topeka, KS 66603-3404
Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL)
275 E. Main St. 3E-E
Frankfort, KY 40621
Call: (502) 564-6930
Fax: (502) 564-4595
State Health Insurance Assistance Program SHIP
Mississippi Department of Human Services
200 South Lamar Street
Jackson, MS 39201
Call: (800) 359-4500
NORTH CAROLINA (SHIIP)
Medicare and Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
North Carolina Department of Insurance
1201 Mail Service Center Raleigh NC 27699-1201
Ohio Department of Insurance
50 W Town Street Suite 300
Columbus Ohio 43215
Call Toll Free: 855-408-1212
Medicare & OSHIIP: 800-686-1578
TENNESSEE (TN SHIP)
TN SHIP: Tennesseans' Medicare Resource
Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability
502 Deaderick Street, 9th Floor Nashville, TN 37243-0860
WEST VIRGINIA (SHIP)
West Virginia SHIP
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305
Call: (304) 558-3317, (877) 987-4463
Fax: (304) 558-0004