Entering the world of Medicare and Medicaid can be very daunting. These programs are exactly meant to help those who are poor and elderly, and these are the precise populations that may have difficulty gaining access to information about programs. The various regulations can also be very challenging to understand, and for the elderly, who may be ill, it can be even a bigger challenge. The state of New Jersey offers to help out with medicare education.
What is SHIP?
SHIP stands for State Health Insurance Assistance Program. The program was developed to help answer any questions people have ab out the Medicare program. It’s a program with offices throughout the state, and it is operated by the New Jersey Department of Human Services through a grant from the federal government.
The program has volunteers who are available to assist beneficiaries with any questions they might have about the available programs. These volunteers are trained and educated about all the options for Medicare beneficiaries so they can give over Medicare education. They are unpaid and have no stake in the information they provide, so they act as an impartial voice to help the patients navigate the maze of Medicare and make the right decisions for themselves.
There are various offices in different cities in New Jersey, and Medicare members have the option of visiting an office or calling for assistance. They can find the offices through the SHIP web page or by calling the County Office on Aging.
SHIP also works with a program called New Jersey Save which aims to help poor people pay for premiums and medications as well as other associated costs. People who are interested in the program can apply here and get evaluated to see if they are eligible for the program.
The NJ Save program can enrolls Medicare beneficiaries in these program:
- PAAD – Pharmeceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled\
- Lifeline Utility Assistance
- Medicare Savings Programs
- HAAAD – Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged and Disabled
- Low Income Subsidy (LIS) also called Extra Help for Medicare Part D
- Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program
Joining NJ save can also help low-income indivduals qualify for other government subsidies and programs including:
- property tax freeze
- LIHEAP – low income housing and and energy assistance program
- Reduced fees for motor vehicles
Medicare Education online
Most of the information that a patient needs to make a decision is available on the SHIP web site for people who are more comfortable getting their Medicare education online without outside assistance and believe they can make a wise decision on their own. The SHIP web site is constantly being updated with new information about changes in beneficiaries, or what they call Medigaps.
Some of the information Medicare beneficiaries can learn about online include:
- Medicare advantage plans. These are HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations) operated by Medicare, and PPO – preferred provider organizations.
- Medicare Prescription Drug Program
- There are also various Medicare supplemental insurance programs that a patient may wish to join.
Sinai Post Acute Care in Newark, New Jersey, works with Medicare and its various programs. One of our representatives can help you figure out how Medicare can help pay for your stay here.