Spotlight on State Health Insurance Assistance Program: Let's Talk About SHIP


Seniors filling out paperwork

Did you know that there is a local program that can assist with Medicare questions and concerns? SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program) is a federally funded local program that is available to assist with all of your Medicare and Medicare program-related questions. The SHIP program is available nationwide, so if you have family that live in Maine, California, or anywhere in between, they can look on the back of their Medicare and You book for the SHIP phone number or contact their local Social Security Administration to find contact information for their local SHIP department. If you live in the seven counties region (Bullitt, Jefferson, Henry, Trimble, Spencer, Shelby, or Oldham) you can call KIPDA at 502-266-5571 and ask to speak with a SHIP counselor.

SHIP counselors are trained by CMS—Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services—and are available to assist with things like learning the basics of Medicare and signing up for an Advantage Plan or Part D drug plan. Counselors can also assist with screening and help with applying for assistance programs, and education on Medicare Supplemental/Medigap plans, as well as providing education on things as complicated as Medicare Appeals and choosing between employer coverage and Medicare. A SHIP Counselor's goal is to educate you so that you can make the most informed decision for your Medicare needs.

Are you or a loved one on a fixed income and having trouble paying for their Medicare expenses? SHIP has the tools to assist in looking into options and assisting with the application process. If you are already receiving assistance and have questions or received a letter in the mail from Social Security or Cabinet for Health and Family Services, and are not sure what it means, SHIP can assist.

Are one or more of your prescriptions not being paid for? Call SHIP today for assistance with looking into your plans formulary—the list of medications that the plan will pay for. SHIP counselors can also assist with looking into patient assistance programs and screening for other programs and options that maybe available.

For more assistance with your Medicare and Medicare related program needs, just call KIPDA at 502-266-5571 and ask to speak with a SHIP counselor. Available Monday-Friday from 8am-5pm. All assistance can be given over the phone, or in person in the home or in the KIPDA office.