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CLAIM, GeorgiaCares, HICAP, HICP, I-CARE, MMAP, Sage Plus, SHIBA, SHICK, SHIINE, SHIIP, The CHOICES Program, WSHIIP … What do all the above names have in common?

They all are referring to the State Health Insurance
Assistance Program also most commonly known as (SHIP)

And why should you care? Learn More!

Article submitted by the Staff at and

What is SHIP?
SHIP is a FREE health benefits counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or caregivers. SHIPs’ mission is to educate, advocate, counsel and empower people to make informed healthcare benefit decisions. SHIP is an independent program funded by Federal agencies and is not affiliated with the insurance industry.

Here are more important details …

  • SHIP Counseling is Free of charge
    State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) provide free help to Medicare beneficiaries who have questions or issues with their health insurance. You can call a counselor or attend a workshop/presentation in your area.
  • Do all States have SHIP Programs?
    All States including Puerto Rico offer SHIP however the program can be known as something other than SHIP. Some of the different names States call the program are:
  • Who Pays for the SHIP Program?
    SHIPs are funded in part by state funds and by grants from The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). The original program was founded in 1992 to provide Medicare beneficiaries with free, objective health insurance information and one-on-one counseling.
  • Who are the SHIP Counselors?
    SHIP counselors are people from your community who have volunteered to be a counselor and they are trained in Medicare eligibility, benefits and options, health insurance counseling and related insurance products.
  • SHIP Events in your Community
    Many of the State SHIPs are hosting SHIP events in your community. A SHIP event often known as a ‘Medicare Monday’ and often held on a Monday, are prearranged events where those eligible for Medicare can attend a workshop and learn about their options for healthcare the coming year.
  • Why is the SHIP Program Important:
    Medicare has specific enrollment periods so it is important that if you want to make changes to your Medicare health services you need to attend an event so you know your choices and you do not miss a deadline.

And most important …

  • SHIP counselors are NOT connected with any insurance company, nor are they licensed to sell insurance or provide any legal advice.
  • A SHIP counselor will NOT make decisions for you. Their purpose is to assist you objectively and confidentially, and to empower you to make your own health care decisions.
  • If you are eligible for Medicare, you are eligible for SHIP Counseling.

Find a State’s SHIP Program …
Find a specific State’s SHIP program with the’s SHIP Profile. We researched and assembled a list of State SHIP websites and contact information for your convenience – Click Here

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