Senate Panel Kills SHIP Medicare Program
A program that has helped seniors understand the many intricacies of Medicare as well as save them millions of dollars would be eliminated by a budget bill overwhelmingly approved last week by the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or “SHIP,” is among more than a dozen programs left out of the bill by the committee. Cutting these “unnecessary federal programs” helped provide needed funding for other efforts, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), chairman of the appropriations committee’s health and labor subcommittee, said in a statement last week. Ending SHIP saves $52 million, which will help pay for a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health, restore year-round Pell Grants, and increase resources to prevent and treat opioid abuse, among other things. SHIP counselors are in every state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories offering free advice on how to choose from an array of drug and health insurance plans, challenge coverage denials, and receive financial subsidies for premiums, co-payments and deductibles. They provide one-on-one counseling as well as host enrollment clinics, informational meetings, special “Welcome to Medicare” events for new beneficiaries and answer questions over toll-free telephone help lines.
Source/more: Kaiser Health News
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.