Senior Watch January 30, 2012 

Lee White, State Health Insurance Health Assistance Program (SHIP) coordinator, talks about what the SHIP program is and what it can do and not do for seniors. Specifically within the SHIP (State Health Insurance Assistance Program), our services provide: ·       General information and education about health insurances including Medicare, MaineCare, long term care and others.  ·       Specific information to the Medicare, MaineCare beneficiaries.  We confirm, explain current insurance coverage, and help people choose their own options.   ·       Problem resolution and advocacy with insurance entities. This includes lodging complaints on behalf of clients through Medicare.  MaineCare legal issues are referred to Legal Services for the Elderly.  ·       Low income benefit assistance:  we routinely screen for any federal and state assistance program, and connect them to existing services.  When there is a medication access issue, AAA’s advocate, investigate and employ problem solving techniques.  ·       Services available for prescription drug help are:  Medicare Savings Program, Medicare Part D plans, Pharmaceutical Company Assistance Program, and Pharmacy discount programs such as Walgreens.   ·       AAA’s, when appropriate, will enroll them in a Medicare D plan such as Wellcare through  After consultation with MaineCare services, we can enroll them for state contracted drug plans.  AAA’s have no other resources that this to assist low income clients to get their medications. ·       AAA’s can refer to the Part D appeals unit of Legal Services for the Elderly when a beneficiary needs legal help to access their medications.