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If you’d like personalized help with your search, contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).
To do this work, GAO reviewed relevant laws and policies; analyzed Medicare data on beneficiary complaints, compliance actions and enforcement actions; and interviewed officials from CMS and selected state departments of insurance, state health insurance assistance programs, and MA organizations.
Beneficiaries seeking assistance about their 2009 coverage should contact their local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (http://www.
org/medicare for links to your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), which provides one-on-one help.
org  For questions, information, and guidance, you might be able to get through faster to the State Health Insurance Assistance Program than to Medicare, etc.
Resources The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free program that counsels older adults about health insurance-related topics.
These include: print materials, a toll-free telephone service, an internet site, national training and support for information givers, a national publicity campaign, State and community-based outreach and education, and enhanced beneficiary counseling through State Health Insurance Assistance Programs.
Additionally, local officials may refer constituents with questions and concerns to their State Health Insurance Assistance Program for help with Medicare+Choice questions, Medicare bills, Medicare Supplemental Insurance Policies or long-term care insurance, payment denials or appeals, Medicare rights and protections, complaints about care or treatment, or for more information on Medicare health plan choices.