For unbiased FREE Medicare Counseling assistance:
Southern Nevada Toll Free Hotline: 800-307-4444
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, is a state-based program that offers local one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families.
Through Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) funded grants directed to states, SHIPs provide free counseling and assistance via telephone and face-to-face interactive sessions, public education presentations and programs, and media activities. The SHIPs were originally established to address the confusion caused by the increase in choices of Medicare supplemental insurance, or Medigap.
Since the program's inception, however, the role of the SHIPs in serving people with Medicare has greatly expanded. Today, trained counselors offer information, counseling and assistance to Medicare beneficiaries on a wide range of Medicare and Medicaid that includes help with premiums and co-pays through Medicare Savings Plans, and Medigap matters. Assistance also includes education and enrollment in Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage options, information on long-term care insurance, claims and billing problem resolution, information and referral on public benefit programs for those with limited income and assets, and other health insurance benefit information. In addition, SHIPs also support efforts to inform Medicare beneficiaries about Medicare fraud and abuse.
The state grantees have built the SHIP network nationwide to include over to 1,300 local sponsoring organizations supporting over 12,000 counselors (mostly volunteers) and staff. Last year, the SHIPs served over 2.5 million Medicare beneficiaries through one-on-one, in-person and over the telephone counseling sessions and presentations and public education programs. SHIPs are currently providing community outreach, education, and one-on-one enrollment assistance to people with Medicare living in the communities served by these local programs.
Medicare Annual Enrollment Period is October 15 – December 7 each year!