Volunteer SHIP counselors needed to help Medicare beneficiaries

Volunteer SHIP counselors needed to help Medicare beneficiaries

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program — SHIP — provides free help to Essex County Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with their health insurance, or questions about it. SHIP is a statewide program administered in Essex County by Jewish Family Service of MetroWest and funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services with financial assistance through a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

Medicare can be complex and hard to navigate. Volunteer SHIP counselors are trained to assist people with questions on subjects that include Medigap plans, Part D coverage, claims, and benefits. Volunteers also answer questions about Medicaid and low-income assistance programs. SHIP’s main office is in Florham Park; volunteers also offer advise at libraries and community centers throughout the county. In-person events are held throughout the county, especially during Medicare open enrollment, from October 15 to December 7.

Volunteer counselors do not provide legal advice, sell, recommend, and/or endorse any specific insurance product, agent, insurance company or plan. Volunteers cannot hold an active license to sell insurance.

JFS MetroWest is a comprehensive social service agency providing mental health counseling and support services on a non-discriminatory basis.

To volunteer, email Brittany Bynum at bbynum@jfsmetrowest.org, call her at (973) 637-1764, or go to jfsmetrowest.org. The Essex County SHIP is run through RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and is open only to volunteers who are at least 55 and willing to submit to a background check.

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