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DOH News Release: Free in-person help for enrolling in Medicare

Posted on Oct 21, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom

HONOLULU – Open enrollment for Medicare began Oct. 15 and continues through Dec. 7 for those who are eligible, but enrolling can be challenging. The Hawaii State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is offering one-hour, in-person counseling on Oct. 22 & 29 and Nov. 9 & 19 on O‘ahu, with phone and video counseling options also available. The local SHIP crew knows how complex health insurance can be and helps eligible adults review and plan their healthcare needs.

Medicare is the federal health insurance program to help pay for healthcare services for kupuna 65 years and older as well as those with disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Medicare has many different components and can be challenging to understand and navigate. The consultations provide objective, non-commercial information.

For those who are already Medicare beneficiaries, SHIP’s certified counselors are available to review their current plans and healthcare needs, and provide updates to original Medicare (Parts A & B), Medicare Advantage (Part C), and Prescription Drug Plans (Part D) for 2022.

One-hour in-person counseling appointments are available to on Oct. 22 & 29 and Nov. 9 & 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin, 1727 Pali Hwy, in Nu‘uanu.

Make in-person counseling appointments with Hawaii SHIP at https://hawaiiship.org or by calling the Hawaii SHIP Helpline at (808) 586-7299 or toll-free at 1-888-875-9229.

  • Phone and Virtual Consultations Make phone or Zoom counseling appointments at https://hawaiiship.org or by calling the Hawaii SHIP Helpline at (808) 586-7299 or toll-free at 1-888-875-9229. The pre-recorded message on the Hawaii SHIP Helpline asks for your name, phone number, email address, zip code, a brief message about your question, and the days and times you prefer to be called. A Medicare counselor will contact those who have made an appointment within two to five business days.

Hawaii SHIP, which is part of the state’s Executive Office on Aging, has provided no-cost, local, trusted, and unbiased Medicare help for Hawai‘i residents for nearly 30 years.

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About Hawaii SHIP

The national SHIP mission is to empower, educate, and assist Medicare-eligible individuals, their families, and caregivers through objective outreach, counseling, and training to make informed health insurance decisions that optimize access to care and benefits.

Hawaii SHIP, State Health Insurance Assistance Program, is federally funded by the Administration for Community Living and administered by the Hawai‘i Department of Health, Executive Office on Aging. Our Medicare-certified counselors provide free, unbiased, local, one-on-one Medicare counseling to beneficiaries, their loved ones, caregivers, and soon-to-be retirees. We also offer free, virtual presentations on Medicare-related topics and participate in virtual fairs and exhibits that cater to Medicare-eligible individuals.

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Media Contacts:

Wanda Anae-Onishi

Hawaii SHIP Director

Phone: 808-586-4788

Email: [email protected]

Jackson Wong

Communications Office

Phone: 808-586-4407

Email: [email protected]