JFS MetroWest awarded state contract to administer State Health Insurance Assistance Program

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ has been awarded the contract to administer Essex County SHIP, or State Health Insurance Assistance Program. SHIP is a statewide program that provides free, objective, confidential help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with or questions about Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Part D and Long-Term Care Insurance Services. Services are provided via telephone, face to face or through public education presentations.

The Essex County SHIP coordinator is licensed social worker Siobhan Flynn-Higgins, who has extensive experience working with older adults.

“I am excited to be serving in the role of SHIP coordinator at JFS,” she said in a press release. “I look forward to working with SHIP volunteers and older adults in Essex County to simplify the insurance process and make it easier for people to apply for and receive the medical benefits that they require.”

To access free SHIP services in Essex County, call 973-637-1717.

JFS will operate SHIP as a program of the RSVP Center of Essex & Hudson Counties. RSVP is a comprehensive community service organization that enables individuals 55 and over to give back in their own neighborhoods through volunteer service. To that end, RSVP is seeking volunteers with strong communication skills and the ability to use a computer who are interested in being trained as SHIP counselors to assist seniors as they navigate the Medicare process. Stephanie Grove, RSVP director, feels “SHIP is a natural fit with RSVP. Who better to guide older adults through the complex insurance process than older adult RSVP volunteers?” Experienced and trained counselors do not provide legal advice, sell, recommend or endorse any specific insurance product, agent or insurance company. Counselors provide information and assistance so that individuals can make the best most informed decisions.

Training for new SHIP volunteers will be conducted in early September. Volunteers will complete a five-day training course and should plan to devote at least five to 10 hours per month to counseling clients. The commitment is for one year. To learn more about volunteering as a SHIP counselor, contact Grove at 973-637-1766 or sgrove@jfsmetrowest.org.