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The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (S.H.I.P.) provides free help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about their health insurance. SHIP is a statewide program sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services with major funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Medicare beneficiaries frequently have questions about benefits and claims, supplement policies, and long-term care insurance. Volunteer counselors, trained in areas of health insurance coverage and benefits that affect Medicare beneficiaries, provide information and assistance for dealing with claims and in evaluating health insurance needs.

Volunteer counselors do not provide legal advice, sell, recommend, endorse any specific insurance product, agent, insurance company, Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) or Private Fee-for-Service (PFFS) plan. They provide information and assistance so that you can make your own decisions. Counseling is free of charge.

S.H.I.P. Counselors are ready and willing to help you answer the following questions:
  • What is the difference between Original Medicare and the Medicare Advantage plans?
  • What do I need to know about Medicare Prescription Drug coverage (Part D) and how do I choose a plan?
  • What are the “gaps in Original Medicare coverage?  How do I fill them?
  • What do I do if Medicare denies payment for a claim?
  • Whom do I call if I have a question about a claim?
  • Does Medicare pay for nursing home care?
  • What are the different Medigap / Medicare supplement plans?
  • What is Medicaid?
  • What is low-income subsidy?
  • What is Long-Term Care insurance?

To get answers to these questions and more, call your local SHIP office.

If you would like to have Medicare counseling  contact the Passaic County Department of Senior Services, Disability & Veterans Affairs at 973-569-4060.