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State Health Insurance Counseling & Assistance Programs

Page Reviewed / Updated - Oct. 2019

SHIP Definition

SHIPs, or State Health Insurance 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 (Medicare Supplemental Insurance), 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 available 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”.  Others include SHIIP, SHINE, HICAP, and SHIBA. 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 1-334-242-5743
Alaska SHIP Alaska State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) 1-800-478-6065 1-907-269-3680
Arizona SHIP Arizona State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-800-432-4040 1-602-542-4446
Arkansas SHIIP Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) 1-800-224-6330 1-501-371-2782
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 DMAB Delaware Medicare Assistance Bureau (DMAB) 1-800-336-9500 1-302-674-7364
District of Columbia SHIP State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-202-727-8370
Florida SHINE Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders (SHINE) 1-800-963-5337
Georgia SHIP GeorgiaCares State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-866-552-4464 (option #4)
Hawaii SHIP Hawaii State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-888-875-9229 1-808-586-7299
Idaho SHIBA Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) 1-800-247-4422
Illinois SHIP Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) 1-800-252-8966
Indiana SHIP State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIP) 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 (option #2)
Louisiana SHIIP Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) 1-800-259-5300
Maine SHIP Maine State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-877-353-3771
Maryland SHIP State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-800-243-3425
Massachusetts SHINE Serving the Health Information Needs of Everyone (SHINE) 1-800-AGE-INFO (243-4636)
Michigan MMAP Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program 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) 1-844-822-4622
Missouri Claim CLAIM 1-800-390-3330
Montana SHIP Montana State Health and Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-800-551-3191
Nebraska SHIIP Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) 1-800-234-7119 1-402-471-2841
Nevada SHIP State Health Insurance Assistance 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 1-800-432-2080
New York HIICAP Health Insurance Information Counseling & Assistance Program 1-800-701-0501
North Carolina SHIIP Seniors' Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) 1-855-408-1212
North Dakota SHIC State Health Insurance Counseling (SHIC) 1-888-575-6611
Ohio OSHIIP Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) 1-800-686-1578
Oklahoma SHIP State Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIP) 1-800-763-2828
Oregon SHIBA Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance Program (SHIBA) 1-800-722-4134
Pennsylvania APPRISE APPRISE 1-800-783-7067
Rhode Island SHIP Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) 1-401-462-0510
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 1-800-541-7735
Vermont SHIP State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 1-800-642-5119
Virginia VICAP Virginia Insurance Counseling & Assistance Program 1-800-552-3402
Virgin Islands VI SHIP Virginia Islands State Health Insurance Assistance Program (VI SHIP) 1-340-772-7368
Washington SHIBA Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) HelpLine 1-800-562-6900 1-304-558-3317
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