State Health and Insurance Assistance Program – SHIP
The Montana State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free health-benefits
counseling and advocacy service for Medicare beneficiaries and their families or
caregivers. Our mission is to educate, advocate FOR, counsel and empower people to
make informed benefit decisions.
The Montana SHIP is an independent, objective, and confidential assistance program
funded by CENTERS FOR MEDICARE AND MEDICAID SERVICES (CMS) and is
not affiliated with the insurance industry. This program is based and operated through our
Area Agencies on Aging; you may contact your local SHIP Counselor at 1-800-551-
Who are the SHIP counselors?
SHIP counselors are specialists trained in Medicare eligibility, benefits and options,
health insurance counseling and related insurance products. SHIP counselors are not
connected with any insurance company, nor are they licensed to sell insurance. A SHIP
counselor will not make decisions for you; rather, their purpose is to assist you
objectively and confidentially, and to empower you to make your own wise health care
What if I am homebound?
A SHIP counselor will meet with you in your home if you cannot get out or don’t have
How do I contact the SHIP?
Call 1-800-551-3191. If you need an appointment, staff will refer you to the local Area
Agency on Aging for your county of residence, and you will be put in touch with your
local SHIP counselor.
Is this service really free?
Yes, SHIP counselors provide time and expertise at no cost to you. SHIP receives
funding from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and is an objective,
confidential and FREE program.
Group presentations available
SHIP counselors also conduct public presentations on Medicare, Medicare supplemental
insurance, long term care options, Medicare Advantage options, Medicare fraud, waste
and abuse and other issues of importance to Medicare beneficiaries and their families.