Medicare Counseling - Provided by SHIP

Phone Number 410-313-7392

SHIP Relocation

SHIP has temporarily moved to the Administrative Offices of the Department of Community Resources and Services while the Bain 50+ Center undergoes renovations beginning Fall 2019.  The move will allow SHIP to accommodate Howard County residents while remaining in Columbia and has the added bonus of being close to services offered by Community Partners at the Patuxent Woods campus. 

During the Open Enrollment period, SHIP has also moved its office from the Ellicott City 50+ Center across the parking lot to the Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center.  Visitors will need to check in with the desk at the fitness center and the SHIP counselor will be notified of your arrival. 

During Open Enrollment, SHIP Will also offer limited appointments at the Elkridge, Glenwood and North Laurel 50+ Centers. 

Click the links below for addresses to and more information about


Elkridge   Ellicott City   Glenwood   North Laurel   Patuxent Woods


Medicare Part C and D Open Enrollment is here! October 15 – December 7

SHIP is ready to help you shop and compare standalone prescription drug and Medicare Advantage plans for 2020.  If you are already in a plan, you should have received your Annual Notice of Change informing you of any changes to your existing plan for next year.  At minimum, we encourage you to make sure your plan will still work for you in terms of premium, deductibles, drug restrictions and pharmacy network. If you want to shop around and compare your drug coverage options, there are a few things that you should know about to be prepare. 

Click here for more information about Open Enrollment.



SHIP helps people with Medicare of any age (or their families/caregivers) understand and navigate Medicare. Whether you are new to Medicare or have had it for some time, contact SHIP for questions or concerns about these or other topics:

  • What Medicare covers
  • Prescription drug plans, Medicare Advantage/health plans, Medigap policies
  • Billing, claims, denials and appeals
  • Program that help with Medicare costs

Our trained staff and volunteers provide free, unbiased services through:

  • Counseling (by appointment)
  • Public Education Presentations
  • Printed and electronic format






SMP - Senior Medicare Patrol

Protect yourself and Medicare against, fraud, abuse, error and waste.  Learn how to PROTECT…DETECT…REPORT. 


Contact SHIP/SMP

Please call 410-313-7392 to leave a message for general inquiries or to schedule an appointment at one of the Howard County 50+ Centers where SHIP counseling is offered (see below); a SHIP Counselor will return your call in a timely manner (within 1-2 business days).  Please be aware that counseling sessions are by appointment only. 

Bain 50+ Center
Appointments are scheduled daily, Monday-Friday.

Ellicott City 50+ Center
Appointments are scheduled Wednesday mornings and Thursday afternoons.

Join the Howard County SHIP Email List (This link will open a new window which will take you to the Constant Contact sign-up form. The window can be closed after submitting the form.)

If you need this information in an alternate format or need accommodations to attend a SHIP presentation, call Maryland Access Point at 410-313-5980 (voice/relay) one week in advance.