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Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

Updated: Feb 8, 2023

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.



STATE NAMES

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



SHIP VOLUNTEERS:


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)



References:






CONTACT INFORMATION




STATE HEALTH INSURANCE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

SHIP National Technical Assistance Center


Address:

Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging

3840 W 9th St

Waterloo, IA 50702

Call: 877-839-2675




ALABAMA (SHIP)

Websites:



FLORIDA (SHINE)

SHINE Program

Department of Elder Affairs

4040 Esplanade Way, Suite 270

Tallahassee, FL 32399-7000

Toll Free: 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337)

Fax: 850-414-2150


GEORGIA (SHIP)

Department of Human Services

Division of Aging Services

2 Peachtree St. NW 29th Floor ATLANTA, GA 30303


ILLINOIS (SHIP)

Illinois Department on Aging One Natural Resources Way, #100 Springfield, IL 62702-1271

Call: (800) 252-8966; 711


INDIANA (SHIP)

Indiana Department Of Insurance

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

Call: 1-800-457-8283

Text: 1-855-463-5292


KANSAS (SHICK)

Kansas Department of Aging & Disability Services

New England Building

503 S. Kansas Ave.

Topeka, KS 66603-3404

Call: 785-296-4986


KENTUCKY (SHIP)

Department for Aging and Independent Living (DAIL)

275 E. Main St. 3E-E

Frankfort, KY 40621

Call: (502) 564-6930

Fax: (502) 564-4595


MICHIGAN (MMAP)

Call: 1-800-803-7174


MISSISSIPPI (SHIP)

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 (OSHIP)

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

Call: 1-877-801-0044

Websites: tn.ship@tn.gov


WEST VIRGINIA (SHIP)

West Virginia SHIP

1900 Kanawha Blvd. East

Charleston, WV 25305

Call: (304) 558-3317, (877) 987-4463

Fax: (304) 558-0004











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