State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Programs (SHIP): Free Medicare Counseling

Page Reviewed / Updated - Jan. 2014

SHIP Definition

SHIPs, or State Health Insurance and Assistance Programs, are not a source of funding for eldercare. SHIPs are free, state counseling services that help seniors understand their Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medigap and Medicaid benefits. Anyone with Medicare related questions is free to call a SHIP’s counselor even if they are not currently enrolled in Medicare.

Staffed by volunteers, these programs provide seniors with one-one-one counseling to help them take full advantage of their benefits. All states have a toll-free telephone number, although often they cannot accommodate the volume of callers they receive. In these cases, they will call you back or allow you to schedule an appointment. Some states also offer face-to-face appointments, usually at the local Area Agency on Aging office.

 Note that some states use abbreviations other than “SHIP” to designate this office.  SHIIP, SHINE, HICAP, and SHIBA are among other names that are used. Also be aware that this program was formerly called the Information Counseling and Assistance (ICA) Grants Program.

 

State by State Guide

 
 

State Program

Website

Phone

Alabama SHIP

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-243-5463

Alaska SHIP

Alaska State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

1-800-478-6065

Arizona SHIP

Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-432-4040

Arkansas SHIIP

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

1-800-224-6330

California HICAP

California Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)

1-800-434-0222

Colorado SHIP

Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-888-696-7213

Connecticut CHOICES

Connecticut Program for Health Insurance Assistance, Outreach, Information & Referral Counseling and Eligibility Screening (CHOICES)

1-800-994-9422

Delaware ELDERinfo

Delaware Insurance Department ELDERinfo

1-800-336-9500

District of Columbia HICP

Health Insurance Counseling Project (HICP)

202-739-0668

Florida SHINE

Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE)

1-800-963-5337

Georgia

GeorgiaCares Resources

1-800-669-8387

Hawaii

SAGE Plus

1-888-875-9229

Idaho SHIBA

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)

1-800-247-4422

Illinois SHIP

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

1-800-548-9043

Indiana SHIIP

State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

1-800-452-4800

Iowa SHIIP

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

1-800-351-4664

Kansas SHICK

Senior Health Insurance Counseling for Kansas (SHICK)

1-800-860-5260

Kentucky SHIP

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-877-293-7447

Louisiana SHIIP

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

1-800-259-5301

Maine SHIP

Maine State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-877-353-3771

Maryland SHIP

Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-243-3425

Massachusetts SHINE

Serving Health Information Needs of Elders (SHINE)

1-800-AGE-INFO (243-4636)

Michigan MMAP

Michigan Office of Services to the Aging

1-800-803-7174

Minnesota SHIP

Minnesota State Health Insurance Assistance Program

1-800-333-2433

Mississippi SHIP

Mississippi State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-948-3090

Missouri Claim

CLAIM

1-800-390-3330

Montana SHIP

Montana State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-551-3191

Nebraska SHIIP

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

1-800-234-7119

Nevada SHIP

State Health Insurance Advisory Program (SHIP)

1-800-307-4444

New Hampshire SHIP

NH SHIP - ServiceLink Resource Center

1-866-634-9412

New Jersey SHIP

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-792-8820

New Mexico

Benefits Counseling Program

505-476-4799

New York HICAP

Health Insurance Information Counseling & Assistance Program

1-800-701-0501

North Carolina SHIIP

Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

1-800-443-9354

North Dakota SHIC

Senior Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC)

1-888-575-6611

Ohio OSHIIP

Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP)

1-800-686-1578

Oklahoma SHICP

Senior Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHICP)

1-800-763-2828

Oregon SHIBA

Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA)

1-800-722-4134

Pennsylvania APPRISE

APPRISE

1-800-783-7067

Puerto Rico SHIP

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-981-7735

Rhode Island SHIP

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

401-462-4444

South Carolina I-CARE

Insurance Counseling Assistance and Referrals for Elders (I-CARE)

1-800-868-9095

South Dakota SHINE

Senior Health Information and Insurance Education (SHIINE)

1-800-536-8197

Tennessee SHIP

Tennessee State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-877-801-0044

Texas HICAP

Health Information Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP)

1-800-252-9240

Utah SHIP

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP)

1-800-541-7735

Vermont SHIP

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

1-800-642-5119

Virginia VICAP

Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP)

1-800-552-3402

Virgin Islands VI SHIP

Virgin Islands State Health Insurance Assistance Program (VI SHIP)

340-772-7368

Washington SHIBA

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) HelpLine

1-800-562-6900

West Virginia WV SHIP

West Virginia State Health Insurance Assistance Program (WV SHIP)

1-877-987-4463

Wisconsin SHIP

Wisconsin SHIP (SHIP)

1-800-242-1060

Wyoming WSHIP

Wyoming State Health Insurance Program (WSHIP)

1-800-856-4398