What is SHIP?

To help you determine what services are provided by Medicare and State Programs in your area, advisors are available. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, is a national program that offers free one-on-one counseling and assistance to people with Medicare and their families.

To visit the SHIP website, click here.

Gayle, MSW and aging specialist, talks about resources available that may help in paying for your future health plans.

People paying their bills

One of the best resources available, all across the country, for free is the Senior Health Insurance program, also known as SHIP. Senior Health Insurance Program helps people who have Medicare, or are preparing for Medicare, or are caring for someone who receives Medicare. So you can really talk to your SHIP counselor at any time.

They can help you figure out when you’re eligible to enroll, help you understand all the different parts of Medicare and what they mean – Part A, Part D, the doughnut hole. What do any of those words even mean? They can help you also after you’ve used some medical services and you start to see your bills. They can explain to you what you’ve been charged for and why you’re seeing some of those charges on that bill. They’re also available to help you with picking a supplement plan or a part D plan. They can meet with you every year to figure out if your part D plan is still good for you.

The other thing that they can really help you with is understanding what programs you might be eligible for through the state and federal government. There are programs that can help you pay for your medical costs, or help pay for your part D premiums, or even pay for Medicare as a whole. Your Senior Health Insurance Program counselor can help you make sense of all the little bits and pieces of Medicare that gets so confusing.

Remember, a Senior Health Insurance Program counselor is available to you, for free and you can find them in any state in the United States.

What will my “out of pocket” costs be?

Out of pocket expenses can vary. Some examples of what people may have to pay from their own savings or “out of pocket” for include:

  • 24-hour Caregivers
  • Retirement Community Living
  • Long Term Care in a Nursing Home

What is Long Term Care insurance?

Long Term Care Insurance generally can cover home care, 24-hour caregivers, assisted living, nursing care, and nursing home facilities. Policies vary by services covered, costs, and length of benefits. It is important that before you purchase Long Term Care Insurance, you understand what will be covered and for how long.

You and a loved one may want to consult your insurance agent together to determine if this is the best option for you.