The Northern Nevada State Health Insurance Assistance Program (S.H.I.P) provides free, unbiased Medicare information and counseling to Nevadans. S.H.I.P volunteers provide one-on-one assistance to Medicare beneficiaries and their advocates in person or by telephone. S.H.I.P can assist with Part D information and enrollment, low income subsidies, Medicare questions, appeals and much more.
S.H.I.P volunteers are available in senior centers across northern Nevada.
To locate the S.H.I.P representative near you, call 1-877-385-2345 or email us at email@example.com.
Become a Volunteer
Be a part of a rewarding volunteer experience where you become the expert!!
Volunteers are needed to educate and counsel people about Medicare at the senior centers and throughout our communities. No Medicare experience is necessary and volunteers will receive free Medicare education and training.
To request a volunteer application or for more information please contact the northern Nevada S.H.I.P Volunteer Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guidelines Understanding YOUR Medicare
Your Initial Enrollment Period:
You have a 7-month window to sign up for Medicare at age 65, this is called you Initial Enrollment Period: It spans the following timeframe:
- 3 months before your 65th birthday
- The month of your 65th birthday
- 3 months after your 65th birthday
You will receive a Medicare packet in the mail. One of the items sent is the annual Medicare & You book for the current or next year. This book contains important information about your Medicare benefits. Keep the current book handy for reference. It has up to date information.
If you plan to enroll in Original Medicare, you have the option of choosing a prescription drug plan under the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Program (Part D).
Are you already collecting Social Security?
If you received Social Security before age 65, you should receive your Medicare card automatically 1-3 months before your 65th birthday. If you don’t receive the card, call Social Security at : 1-800-772-1213
If you are not collecting Social Security....
If you have never received Social Security, you will have to call Social Security in order to enroll in Medicare: 1-800-772-1213
Are you still employed?
If you are still actively working and have creditable employer insurance coverage, you are encouraged to enroll in premium free Part A during your Initial Enrollment Period.
- When you plan to stop working or lose employer coverage, you have 63 days to enroll in Medicare Part B and D without a penalty.
If you do not join a Part B (provider insurance) or Part D (prescription drug plan) during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), or you have lost creditable coverage (prescription drug coverage at least as good as or better than Medicare coverage), and 63 days have passed, you could have a penalty to pay when you join. You will pay this penalty as long as you have Medicare.
When can you make changes to your Medicare?
You can switch to a different drug plan during the Annual Election Period (AEP) from November 15 to December 31 of each year.
Always review your prescription coverage each year to make sure you have the most cost effective plan for your situation.
Do you receive Social Security Disability?
Generally, if you are disabled, you will have 3 months before and 3 months after your 25th month of disability. SSA will automatically send the Medicare enrollment card.
Q: What is Medicare?
A: For a good overview of the basics of Medicare, look here. One of the best guides to Medicare is the publication Medicare & You (Publication No. CMS-10050). This guide is sent to all Medicare recipients each year. To get a copy, call the Medicare toll-free number, 1-800- or go to www.medicare.gov. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call TTY 1-877-486-2048
Q: If I am getting Medicare, do I need any additional health insurance?
A: Original Medicare pays for many, but not all, health care services and supplies. A Medigap policy, sold by private insurance companies, can help pay some of the health care costs (“gaps”) that Original Medicare doesn’t cover, like copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Q: I lost my Medicare card. Can I get a replacement?
A: Yes. You can request a replacement online here, or call Social Security’s toll free number.
Frequently Asked Questions about Prescription Drug Coverage:
Q: Must I sign up for Prescription Drug Coverage?
A: Even if you don’t take a lot of prescription drugs now, you should still consider joining a Medicare drug plan. If you decide not to join a Medicare drug plan when you are first eligible, and you don’t have other creditable prescription drug coverage, you will likely pay a late enrollment penalty (higher premiums) if you choose to join later.*
Q: Even with the Part D drug plan, I can't afford my drugs. Can I get some help?
A: You may be able to get extra help paying for the annual deductibles, monthly premiums and prescription co-payments related to the Medicare prescription drug program (Part D). You may qualify for extra help if you have limited income (tied to the federal poverty level) and limited resources. ** Also, many Nevada residents are eligible for Senior Rx, a state program that helps pay your premiums for Part D, and pays for your drugs if you reach the payment gap.
Q: When can I sign up or change Prescription Drug Plans?
A: You can join, switch, or drop a Medicare drug plan at these times: • When you first become eligible for Medicare. • Between November 15–December 31 each year. Your coverage will begin on January 1 of the following year. In most cases, you must stay enrolled for that calendar year starting the date your coverage begins. However, in certain situations, you may be able to join, switch, or drop Medicare drug plans during a special enrollment period (like if you move out of the service area, lose other creditable prescription drug coverage, live in an institution, or qualify for “extra help”).
Frequently Asked Questions about S.H.I.P
Q: What is S.H.I.P?
A: S.H.I.P. stands for State Health Insurance Assistance Program. We are volunteers who provide Medicare information and assistance to seniors, family members and advocates. There are S.H.I.P programs in all 50 states.
Q: How can I get help with my Medicare questions?
A: If you want to talk to someone in person, you can contact the AHN Help Line 1-877-385-2345
You can also email us with your questions: email@example.com
Additionally, if you live in rural Nevada we can set up a video teleconferencing or Skype appointment so you can meet face-to-face with a SHIP counselor without ever leaving your town. Please be sure to request this service if you have a complicated Medicare issue.
Q: How do I become a S.H.I.P Volunteer?
A: It's fun and easy to become a SHIP Volunteer, just contact the S.H.I.P Volunteer Coordinator firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-385-2345
Q: How do I set up a S.H.I.P presentation in my area?
A: S.H.I.P is happy to schedule a presentation for your organization or community, please contact the SHIP Volunteer Coordinator email@example.com or 1-877-385-2345
*Medicare & You 2009, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. **Medicare, SSA Publication No. 05-10043, May 2008, ICN 460000
The information in this document is for general education purposes only. Accuracy/details are to be verified by the user/beneficiary. Additional information is available through the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services medicare.gov website and 1-800-Medicare
Northern Nevada SHIP is funded by the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division www.nvaging.net and is a program of Access to Healthcare Network
Anyone needing help with Medicaid eligibility should contact the Nevada State Division of Welfare and Supportive Services:
Northern Nevada: (775) 684-7200 or (775) 448-5298
Southern Nevada: (702) 486-1646 or (702) 486-1875
or visit https://dwss.nv.gov/