Medicare Counseling - Provided by SHIP

Phone Number 410-313-7392


During COVID-19 shelter-in-place, Howard County SHIP is open to take your calls and offering online presentations.


SHIP – State Health Insurance Assistance Program

Howard County SHIP helps people with Medicare, their families and caregivers understand and navigate Medicare through one on one appointments by phone and public education presentations.

Whether you are new to Medicare or have had it for some time, our trained staff and Certified Medicare Counselors provide free, unbiased assistance for questions or concerns such as:

§  What Medicare covers

§  Prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage/health plans, Medigap policies

§  Billing, claims, denials and appeals

§  Programs that help with Medicare costs


SHIP is currently offering educational Medicare presentations remotely via WebEx.  Click on the “Schedule of Upcoming Medicare Presentations” link for our upcoming schedule. 


Call SHIP at 410-313-7392 for help with Medicare or to register for presentations.


COVID Related Updates to Medicare

Medicare & Coronavirus


Social Security - Scroll down to “Getting Help from Social Security” to get more information on Social Security services and accessibility during COVID.



Enrolling in Medicare during COVID

Enrollment in Medicare is done through the Social Security Administration’s website or by contacting a Social Security representative.  The SHIP office cannot facilitate Medicare enrollment.  You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or go to


Beneficiaries may be eligible for equitable relief due to the COVID-19 pandemic-related national emergency if they were unable to make their Part A or Part B enrollment choice in a timely manner due to delays and problems with access to the Social Security Administration (SSA) to file an application or enrollment election, as a result of the unexpected closure of field offices due to COVID-19.  Equitable relief allows flexibility in enrolling in Medicare without subjecting beneficiaries to a late enrollment penalty.  For more information, visit the following site:


If you are enrolling in Part B under a Special Enrollment Period because you are losing employment-based health insurance, please refer to Social Security’s instructions for filling out the required forms under “Can I enroll in Medicare?” at this link:



For updated information about COVID related scams, please follow the following links:


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General


SMP Consumer Fraud Alert: COVID-19


SMP - Senior Medicare Patrol

The Howard County Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) provides public information to empower and assist Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to prevent, detect and report health care fraud, error and abuse. 


We encourage beneficiaries to carefully read their Medicare Summary Notices and ask questions if they think some information is incorrect.  Most errors are usually a result of a clerical error and can be resolved by contacting your health care provider.  If this does not resolve your problem, SMP can help you navigate the appeals process.  Learn more about how to review your Medicare Summary Notice at Medicare’s webpage:


When fraud or abuse is suspected, SMP can assist by making referrals to the appropriate state and federal agencies, including the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General, for further investigation.

For more information about Medicare related fraud alerts, visit the following site:


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General


SMP Consumer Fraud Alerts


Call SMP at 410-313-7392 for more information.



Disclaimer:  The information provided in Howard County SHIP’s public education presentations and website are intended for general educational purposes only, as relevant factors vary based on individual circumstances.  Howard County SHIP’s presentations and website are not recommended as the sole source of information for individual decision making.  It is important to seek additional information from other sources as well, including e.g.,  from a benefits coordinator, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and/or your local SHIP program.  While we endeavor to keep information up to date and accurate, policies and rules are subject to change.  Any reliance placed  on the information provided in our presentations and website is done strictly at your own risk. Howard County assumes no responsibility for decisions made or actions taken as a result of the information provided in our presentations and website.