SHIP & Medicare Assistance

The Office of Aging and Disability Services (OADS) and its partners are committed to providing individuals assistance with navigating Medicare. Whether you need assistance finding a Medicare Part D plan, a Medicare Supplement plan, money saving tips, legal assistance, or reporting Medicare fraud and abuse, these programs can help.

Maine State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

If you have Medicare insurance, or expect to have it soon, you may have questions or need help to understand your Medicare benefits. Trained health insurance counselors are available throughout Maine to provide you information about Medicare and other health insurance issues. You can also learn about programs in Maine that help lower the cost of prescription drugs and other out-of-pocket medical expenses.

SHIP services are free, confidential, and available to older people and people who have Medicare because of a disability. SHIP Counselors do not sell insurance or recommend policies.

The Maine SHIP is a health insurance assistance program funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal Medicare agency. SHIP services are sponsored in Maine by the Office of Aging and Disability Services, Maine's five Area Agencies on Aging, and Legal Services for Maine Elders, Inc.

SHIP Services

  • Provide information and answer your questions about Medicare, Medicare Advantage, MaineCare, Medigap and other programs and benefits that supplement Medicare.
  • Give you information about preventive health benefits paid by Medicare.
  • Help you understand the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Medicare Part D) and your options in Maine.
  • Answer questions and help to follow up on your concerns about medical bills, insurance claims, and Medicare notices.
  • Give comparison information about Medicare supplemental policies and plans to help you make a choice.
  • Meet with you by telephone or in-person to review national and state-specific programs, including prescription drug discount programs, to help you reduce out-of-pocket medical expenses.
  • Help you to enroll in Medicare Savings Programs.
  • Refer and help you to connect to other local, state and federal agencies, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (the federal Medicare Agency), Social Security Administration, and the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Provide you with written materials, support, and follow up.
  • Talk to you about your rights and options for appeals and quality of care in Medicare and MaineCare.
  • Teach you how to detect and report errors, abuse and fraud in Medicare and MaineCare.
  • Make presentations to groups in your community to give updates and help people get the most out of their Medicare and MaineCare benefits.

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

The Senior Medicare Patrol’s mission is to educate consumers about Medicare and MaineCare and how they can help identify and reduce errors, fraud, waste, and abuse. To learn more about this program, please contact Legal Services for Maine Elders, Inc or your local Aging and Disability Resource Center.

Medicare Part D Appeals

Legal Services for Maine Elders, Inc has a special Medicare Part D Appeals Unit to help Maine residents who are older and disabled with Medicare Part D. There is no cost for this help.