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SHIP Provides Seniors & People with Disabilities Help
with Insurance Options;
Call (800) 548-9034 or visit the website at

SPRINGFIELD - April 1, 2013.  Illinois Department on
Aging (IDoA) Director John K. Holton, Ph.D., today
announced the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)
is now administered by the department.  The Senior
Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a free statewide
health insurance counseling service for Medicare
beneficiaries and their caregivers. SHIP was
previously under the Department of Insurance, but the
Governor signed Executive Order 13-1 which transfers
SHIP to Aging effective April 1.

“The Department on Aging is well positioned to
support the expanding role of SHIP in assisting older
adults and individuals with disabilities make
information health care decisions.  SHIP counseling
is a natural extension of many of our existing
services so it makes since for the program to be
under the department,” said Director Holton.  “There
are more than 190 existing local SHIP offices
statewide with dedicated counselors who work hard to
educate people about Medicare and available insurance

SHIP is a year round program, not affiliated with any
insurance company, and counselors do not sell or
solicit any type of insurance.  SHIP counselors in
the field make sure seniors and people with
disabilities on Medicare are aware of options that
can save them money.  Counselors educate and answer
questions about Medicare, Medicare Supplement, long
term care insurance, Medicare HMOs, private
fee-for-service and other health insurance;
Organize/assist filing Medicare and Medicare
Supplement claims; and Analyze Medicare Supplement
and long term care policies.

“We are excited for SHIP to become a part of the
Illinois Department on Aging,” said Elizabeth
Diaz-Castillo, SHIP Director.  “With the transition
we expect to increase our education and outreach
efforts to assist more Medicare beneficiaries
understand and utilize their benefits.”

The state’s SHIP program has been recognized for
exemplary performance and outreach strategies.  Last
year, Illinois ranked number one nationwide for most
improved overall SHIP performance and ranked seventh
among the 54 SHIPs nationwide.  The SHIP phone number
is (800) 548-9034.  A list of SHIP volunteers is
available at

About the Illinois Department on Aging
The Department’s mission is to serve and advocate for
older Illinoisans and their caregivers by
administering quality and culturally appropriate
programs that promote partnerships and encourage
independence, dignity, and quality of life.  For more
information, call the Senior HelpLine at 800-252-8966
(or TTY for the hearing impaired at 888-206-1327), or
log on to the website at


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