Celebrating 60 Years of Service

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


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.