ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, provides free help to Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with or questions about their health insurance. SHIP is a statewide program administered in Essex County by Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ and RSVP. It is funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services with financial assistance through a grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
Medicare can be complex and difficult to navigate. Volunteer SHIP counselors are trained to assist people who have Medicare questions, and to provide information on Medigap plans, Part D coverage, claims and benefits. Volunteers also answer questions regarding Medicaid and low-income–assistance programs. JFS’ main office is in Florham Park; however, volunteers counsel at community sites such as libraries and community centers throughout the county. In-person events are held throughout the county, especially during Medicare open enrollment from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7.
Volunteer counselors do not provide legal advice, sell, recommend and/or endorse any specific insurance product, agent, insurance company or plan. Volunteers cannot hold an active license to sell insurance.
JFS is in need of volunteers who are fluent in Spanish. A 40-hour virtual training is required and volunteers must serve a minimum of two to four hours per week for a commitment of one year. Volunteers need access to a computer and basic computer knowledge.
To volunteer, contact Brittany Bynum at email@example.com or 973-637-1764. The Essex County SHIP is run through RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and only open to volunteers ages 55-plus who are willing to submit to a background check.
For more information about JFS, call 973-765-9050 or visit www.jfsmetrowest.org.
JFS, RSVP Center
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