Medicare beneficiaries, their families, and caregivers living in the District of Columbia can access free health insurance information, counseling, education, and assistance through our DC State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
SHIP counselors are trained to get you the information you need and can work with you directly to understand the ins and outs of Medicare so you can make informed decisions about your healthcare and insurance coverage.
We can also assist you with resolving unpaid medical bills, making appeals for denials of medical services, and obtaining prescription medications. Connect with a counselor today at (202) 727-8370 to get your questions answered and better understand your coverage and options.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for:
· People who are 65 or older
· Certain younger people with disabilities
· People with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD)
What is Original Medicare?
Traditional Medicare is also called Original Medicare or “Fee-For-Service" Medicare. This federal program starts with Part A hospital insurance and Part B medical insurance (for most people).
What are the different parts of Medicare?
Part A (Hospital Insurance)
This helps pay for inpatient care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility (following a hospital stay), some home health care, and hospice care. Part A is premium-free for most people, but beneficiaries pay costs through deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays.
Part B (Medical Insurance)
This helps pay for doctor services and many outpatient medical services and supplies. Part B is technically optional because most beneficiaries must pay a monthly premium; it comes with an annual deductible, plus a 20 percent co-insurance. If you want a Medigap supplement or a Medicare Advantage plan to help pay your share of the cost, you must have both Parts A and B.
Part D (Prescription drug coverage)
Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs (including many recommended shots or vaccines).
View more frequently asked questions here.
Learn more about SHIP volunteer opportunities below.