Benefits Counseling & Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
Benefits Counseling has historically been used to assist, encourage, represent and advocate for older persons so that they may participate in various benefit programs. Through this process, North Shore Senior Center is able to ascertain what benefits a senior may qualify for, and applications can be made and verified at the Center. Our Benefits Counseling program has two dedicated staff members and a corps of 14 trained and supervised volunteers.
The Benefits Counseling program is labor intensive; senior applicants must be interviewed, assessed and advised. It is often challenging for counselors to analyze and then convey concisely to applicants the multitude of bureaucratic processes and the documentation and other criteria required to complete those processes. Nonetheless, this program is a safety net for seniors who might otherwise be forced to make unendurable economic decisions.
To learn more about this support service for seniors, please contact us at 847.784.6040. You may also email us at SeniorServices@nssc.org with general inquiries about our services. (If your inquiry is urgent, please call us during regular business hours so that we may better assist you.)
Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
The Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free statewide health insurance counseling service for Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers. SHIP was initiated in the fall of 1988 within the Illinois Department of Insurance. SHIP currently has 186 offices throughout the state, and has more than 600 volunteer counselors. All offices are volunteer-based and supported by local sponsoring organizations that offer services to Medicare beneficiaries.
North Shore Senior Center is one of these organizations. We have more than a dozen SHIP volunteers who meet with seniors in both our Northfield and Niles offices. There is no charge to meet with a SHIP counselor.
* SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company
* SHIP counselors do not sell or solicit any type of insurance
* SHIP counselors are trained to:
1) Educate consumers and answer questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement, long-term care insurance, Medicare HMOs, private fee-for-service and other health insurance;
2) Organize and assist in filing Medicare and Medicare Supplement claims; and analyze Medicare supplement and long-term care policies.
To learn more about how North Shore Senior Center's trained volunteer SHIP counselors can help you, please call 847.784.6040 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, or email SHIP@nssc.org.
FACTS ABOUT SHIP:
All coordinators and counselors must be affiliated with a sponsoring organization, such as North Shore Senior Center.
The Illinois Department on Aging is the state agency that provides initial training, continuing education meetings and ongoing support for SHIP counselors, annual conferences and program oversight.
The sponsoring organization assists in recruiting volunteers, providing office space and office support services such as telephone access, copying and mailing.
The counselor is a trained volunteer who meets with clients to provide objective information on health insurance, advocacy assistance or referral, if appropriate. Volunteers are the "backbone" of SHIP.