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SHIP & Medicare

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, also known as SHIP, is a government program that provides fee one-on-one health insurance counseling to people enrolled in Medicare as well as their families. SHIP programs receive funding from the state government and are run by the state. SHIP has local offices in the state to provide convenient access to SHIP counselors.

SHIP is not an insurance plan but, rather, a government service to help Medicare enrollees understand their insurance options, benefits, and rights under the Medicare program.

How Can SHIP Help Me?

A SHIP counselor can help you:

  • Compare Medicare Part D plans available in your area
  • Compare Medicare Advantage plans available in your area
  • Compare Medigap plans available in your area
  • Discuss the differences among Part D, Medicare Advantage, and Medigap plans
  • Enroll in a Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage, or Medigap plan

SHIP counselors can also answer questions about:

  • Original Medicare Parts A and B
  • Medication coverage within Part D and Medicare Advantage plans
  • Extra Help (also known as the Low Income Subsidy or LIS)
  • Reporting a complaint to Medicare
  • Options when a claim is denied by Medicare or an insurance plan

List of State SHIP Programs

Not every SHIP program is called SHIP. Some states use other names or acronyms for the program. Below is a list of SHIP program names by state.

StateSHIP Program NameWeb Site
AlabamaState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
AlaskaState Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) & Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)
ArizonaArizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program
ArkansasSenior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
CaliforniaCalifornia Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP)
ColoradoSenior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
ConnecticutThe CHOICES Program / CT SHIP
DelawareDelaware Medicare Assistance Bureau (DMAB)
District of ColumbiaHealth Insurance Counseling Project (HICP)
FloridaServing Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE)
HawaiiSage PLUS Program
IdahoSenior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)
IllinoisSenior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
IndianaState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
IowaSenior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
KansasSenior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK)
KentuckyState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
LouisianaSenior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
MaineMaine Maine State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
MarylandMaryland Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
MassachusettsServing Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE)
MinnesotaMinnesota State Health Insurance Assistance Program
MississippiMS State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
MissouriCommunity Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri (CLAIM)
MontanaMontana State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
NebraskaNebraska Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
NevadaState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
New HampshireNH SHIP - ServiceLink Aging and Disability Resource Centers
New JerseyState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
New MexicoNew Mexico Benefits Counseling Program
New YorkNew York Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program (HIICAP)
North CarolinaNorth Carolina Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)
North DakotaSenior Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC)
OhioOhio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP)
OklahomaSenior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP) / Oklahoma Medicare Assistance Program (MAP)
OregonSenior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA)
PennsylvaniaApprise Health Insurance Counseling Program
Rhode IslandSenior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
South CarolinaInsurance Counseling Assistance and Referrals for Elders (I-CARE)
South DakotaSenior Health Information & Insurance Education (SHIINE)
TennesseeTennessee State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) / TN SHIP
TexasHealth Information Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)
UtahSenior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP)
VermontState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
VirginiaVirginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP)
WashingtonStatewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)
West VirginiaWest Virginia State Health Insurance Assistance Program (WV SHIP)
WisconsinState Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)
WyomingWyoming State Health Insurance Information Program (WSHIIP)