SHIP - Alabama State Health Insurance Assistance Program

What is Medicare?
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD).

The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:  Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage Plans), and Part D (prescription drug coverage).

What is SHIP?
The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free & unbiased counseling program provided by the Alabama Department of Senior Services for Medicare beneficiaries in Alabama. We are part of a federal network of SHIP programs located in every state. SHIP provides health insurance counseling for people with Medicare.  All of our services are free.

SHIP Counselors are committed volunteers who will help you make informed choices for yourself regarding your insurance benefits. The counselors are not affiliated with any insurance company and will not attempt to sell you insurance.  All counseling records are strictly confidential. If you would like to learn about becoming a SHIP volunteer, click here.

SHIP Counselors are also available for presentations on a variety of health insurance topics.  For more information, call 1-800-AGE-LINE (1-800-243-5463 or email us at

How Do I Apply or Find More Information?
Open Enrollment is from October 15 to December 7.  Each year, you should check to see which plan is best for you.  Our Agency will be hosting Medicare Checkup Events in each of our counties.  Click here to find an event near you.  If you can't come to a Medicare Checkup Event or you would like to find more information, call one of the phone numbers below.

Jenifer Grace
at (256) 543-3616
at the Etowah Council
on Aging
Coosa, Talladega, and Tallapoosa Counties
Deborah Jones
at (256) 761-3575 at the AIDB Senior
Service Office
Calhoun, Chambers, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, and Randolph Counties
to speak with your local
Aging and Disability Resource Center

If you want help with Medicare Part D, click here to see or print the intake form

SHIP is funded by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and
is administered by the Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) 
and the Area Agencies on Aging.