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West Virginia State Health Insurance Assistance Program

The West Virginia State Heath Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is funded by the federal government to provide free, objective, and confidential help to West Virginia Medicare beneficiaries and their families through one-on-one counseling and assistance via telephone. SHIP also offers public education presentations and media activities.

What services are provided and who provides them?

     SHIP counselors are available to meet with beneficiaries and their families for personalized counseling sessions, to help with existing problems, and to provide support during their decision-making process. Additionally, counselors serve the general public by giving presentations, setting up informational displays at various venues, and participating in media events and interviews.

     SHIP counselors are professionals who are employed by the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, the West Virginia Aging & Disability Resource Centers, and the County Aging Providers (senior centers). Counselors receive training on all aspects of Medicare and related programs, and regularly receive updated training. SHIP counselors do not recommend policies, companies, or insurance agents, but provide free, unbiased answers to the questions of consumers.

What information is provided?

  • Medicare eligibility & benefits

  • Medicare prescription drug plans & Medicare savings plans

  • Medicare Part D (prescriptions) coverage gap & formularies

  • Medigap (Medicare supplemental) plans

  • Medicare Advantage plans

  • Long-term care insurance plans

  • Limited Income Subsidy

  • Durable medical equipment suppliers

  • Preventive services

  • Hospital, nursing home, & home health care comparisons

  • Medicare fraud

  • How to order a new Medicare card

  • How to find a doctor

How can I get help?

Helpful Definitions

  • Part A - Medicare Hospital Insurance

  • Part B - Medicare Medical Insurance

  • Premium - The amount you pay for your Medical Insurance. The premium is generally deducted from your monthly Social Security check.

  • Deductible - The amount you pay ($1,556 for Part A and $233 for Part B in 2022) before Medicare pays for services.

  • Coinsurance - The percent of the Medicare-approved amount that you have to pay after you pay the Part A or Part B deductible (coinsurance is usually 20% for Part B).

  • Part D - Prescription Coverage

There are four programs to assist you with out-of-pocket costs that Medicare does not pay. The programs may pay your monthly Medicare premium, deductibles, and coinsurances. You may also be eligible for helpwith your prescription drug costs. 

SHIP Program chart 2023.png

For Programs 1, 2, and 3, your assets cannot be more than $9,090 for an individual or $13,630 for a couple. For Program 4, your assets cannot be more than $16,660 for an individual or $33,240 for a couple. Assets may include: Cash • Bank Accounts (such as savings and checking) • Stocks, Bonds, Annuities & CDs • Trusts • Some Life Insurance Policies • Real & Personal Property (other than home & automobile).

Local SHIP Office:

131 Providence Ln.

Petersburg, WV 26847


WV Beureau of Senior Services:



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