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Help with Medicare

New to Medicare

Learn about Medicare if you're new to the program. 

Medicare Counseling

Baltimore County's State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) office provides objective education and assistance to individuals eligible for Medicare, a health insurance for people 65 and over, as well as for people with 24 months of Social Security Disability (SSDI). SHIP trains volunteers to be Medicare counselors, Community Educators and Part D Prescription Plan researchers. In addition, SHIP counselors assist Medicare beneficiaries to assess if they are eligible for financial programs which assist with the costs of Medicare and their prescriptions. SHIP is available for assistance by calling 410-887-2059 or emailing

Trained SHIP volunteers provide free, unbiased, confidential, one-on-one counseling by phone (in-person during the Fall Part D Open Enrollment) to Medicare beneficiaries and their families. Topics include the following:

  • Medicare basics and original Medicare
  • Prescription Drug Plans and Health Plans (Medicare Advantage Plans—HMOs and PPOs)
  • Medigap Supplemental Plans
  • Medical Assistance
  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB)
  • Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB)
  • Maryland Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program
  • Eligibility and enrollment for financial assistance to assist with Medicare premiums, co-pays and deductibles
  • Billing issues and appeals

Educational Programs

Transitioning to Medicare

Transitioning to Medicare presentations are held on a monthly rotating basis at Baltimore County Libraries to educate new Medicare beneficiaries about their benefit. 

Medicare Basics

SHIP will be conducting a 1.5-hour presentation regarding the following:

  • When and how to enroll
  • What does Medicare cover
  • How Medicare works
  • Retiree health benefits
  • Medigaps versus Medicare HMOs
  • Programs that assist with Medicare costs

This is an excellent opportunity to learn how to select the best health care coverage for yourself now and in the future. Browse the calendar for upcoming events through September.

Changes in Medicare

Every year, there are changes in the amounts of Medicare premiums and deductibles. This presentation will keep you up to date regarding what is new, updated or just needs to be reemphasized. This one-hour presentation is for those who have been on Medicare for several years. Browse the calendar for upcoming events through September.

How to Do Part D Research

If you are on a Medicare Part D plan, the SHIP office strongly encourages you to review your Part D options to determine if your current Part D plan is still the best for the next calendar year. Every year, the Part D plans are allowed to change their premiums, deductibles, formularies, pharmacy contracts and tier structure, therefore it is imperative that you be proactive during annual open enrollment. This presentation will review the Medicare Plan Finder tool and how you can do your own Part D research and enrollment. Browse the calendar for upcoming events through September.

Fall Open Enrollment

Medicare Fall Open Enrollment will take place October 15 through December 7. Appointments for one-on-one, in-person assistance at various senior centers may be made as early as September by calling SHIP. Browse the calendar for upcoming events through December.

Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Prevention 

The Senior Medical Patrol (SMP) offers educational programs on Medicare fraud and abuse and what Medicare beneficiaries can do to help save Medicare for future generations. In addition, individuals who are concerned about a case of suspected fraud or abuse may contact SMP directly to report the incident, by calling the office at 410-887-2059 or email

Additional Resources

Learn more from the following resources:

Revised July 19, 2021         


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