Benefits Assistance Programs – Medicare


There are two programs available under the Benefits Assistance banner. The State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) and the Senior Medicare Fraud Patrol.

State Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

shipAre you confused by the changes in your HMO? Do you need assistance interpreting your Medicare billing statements? Rest easy, you’re not alone.


The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides objective information about Medicare and other health insurance benefits to seniors, the disabled, and caregivers. SHIP Counselors assist those with Medicare, or those eligible for Medicare, to better understand their options and help them maneuver through the system.


Trained volunteer counselors provide individual assistance on these sometimes confusing policies and forms, offering free personalized assistance. The average client receives 45 minutes of free assistance, but problems or appeals can be complex, involving many hours and coordination between multiple agencies.


Trained volunteers can be found at a number of locations throughout Maricopa County to provide free personalized assistance. You can find an up-to-date List of Counseling Locations.



Services Include

Watch this short video about our Benefits Assistance Medicare Counseling – Objective health Insurance counseling for Medicare seniors and disabled beneficiaries.

  • Information regarding Original Medicare, Medicare Advantage plans (HMOs/PPOs etc.), Medicare Supplement plans (Medigap) and options under Medicare
  • Assistance with organizing Medicare and supplemental claims information to insure all benefits are paid and obligations to providers are satisfied
  • Assistance with Medicare appeals and resolving problems
  • Basic information on applying for Social Security, Medicare and SSI
  • Up-to-date information and assistance on Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Information on eligibility for low income programs
  • Information on Long Term Care policies – Benefits Assistance counselors do not sell and will not recommend one product over another
  • Community Presentations on various Medicare topics


Senior Medicare Fraud Patrol

SMP logoThe Senior Medicare Fraud Patrol educates the community on healthcare fraud prevention; if someone is a victim of healthcare fraud, they will help investigate and file claims to help resolve the problem. Senior Patrol volunteers are  seniors who help fight and prevent Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse.


Here’s a sample of what this program achieves nationally every year – In 2011 the Patrol had:


  • Just under 6,000 active volunteers
  • Almost 9,000 outreach events reaching an estimated 1.6 million people nationwide
  • Over 11,000 group education events reaching 440,000 people
  • 155,000 beneficiaries/caregivers assisted through one-on-one contacts
  • $5.3 million referred on for further research/action by partner agencies


Medicare Fraud is a big problem but recent figures from the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services showed record-breaking recoveries resulting from joint efforts to combat health care fraud.

Medicare fraud costs the nation:


  • $31,780 Million per day
  • $1,324 Million per hour
  • $22,070 per minute


If you suspect Medicare fraud, call the statewide toll-free number 1-800-432-4040 or call calling our 24-hour Senior HELP LINE at (602) 264-HELP.

Benefits Assistance & Medicare Online Library

To help you navigate the complexities of Medicare benefits, we have put together an online resource library. Click on the various links below for detailed information. To speak to a Benefits Assistance Counselor, call 602-264-4357.

Contact Us Today

To learn more or to make an appointment with a Medicare Counselor, call our 24-hour Senior HELP LINE at (602) 264-HELP or fill out the form below.

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602-264-HELP (4357)