State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP)

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.  View Upcoming Schedule

Learn how SHIP can help.  Call 410-313-7392 for help with Medicare or to register for presentations.

Medicare Resources
Medicare Part C and D Open Enrollment

October 15 – December 7 

CALL SHIP AT 410-313-7392 

Howard County SHIP is here to help you review your Medicare Prescription Drug coverage options for 2023.  Starting September 23, you can call Howard County SHIP at 410-313-7392 to schedule a remote counseling appointment by phone with a Certified SHIP Counselor.   SHIP is not able to accommodate walk-in appointments. You do not need to have a computer or internet access for SHIP to help youPlease read the information below to help you prepare and understand what to expect during your remote counseling appointment with a Certified SHIP Counselor.  


Scheduling appointments for plan reviews begins September 23  

Please call 410-313-7392 to leave a message to schedule an appointment with SHIP.  Because of the increased volume due to Open Enrollment, we are unable to answer our phones live. Calls will be returned within 3 business days in the order that they were received.  Please leave only one message on this line as more than one message will only slow our process SHIP will make several attempts to reach you.   

Once you have scheduled your plan review with SHIP, please download the “Plan Review Worksheet” to record important information during your appointment. 



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:

Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP)

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.


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

Medicare Presentations

Are you new to Medicare or helping someone who has Medicare?  Our free public education presentations are a good place to start.

Medicare Frequently Asked Questions


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.

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