WV State Health Information Assistance Program

West Virginia SHIP

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West Virginia’s Medicare information, counseling, and assistance program began in 1992. It was part of a nationwide initiative resulting from the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 to establish Medicare counseling in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. For many years each program operated under a different name; in 2004, however, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services  (the funding agency) established SHIPs—State Health Insurance Assistance Programs—in order to make the country’s programs immediately recognizable and the names uniform.

On December 8, 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act (MMA) became law. The MMA represents the most significant improvements to Medicare since the program was created in 1965.

Although most SHIPs across the country are manned by volunteers, WV SHIP’s 80+ professional counselors are paid employees of the Bureau of Senior Services, the Area Agencies on Aging via the Aging & Disability Resource Centers, or the county aging providers (senior centers).

About WV SMP

Senior Medicare Patrol is a federal grant program funded by the Administration for Community Living and the Older Americans Act.  The program was created in 1997 through the Omnibus Consolidation Appropriation Act.  There are 54 SMP programs throughout the country - all 50 states, District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.

Senior Medicare Patrol's purpose is to combat Medicare fraud by teaching Medicare beneficiaries to detect, protect, and report.  The Senior Medicare Patrol helps Medicare beneficiaries detect fraud through education and outreach about common scam practices, billing errors, and what Medicare does and does not cover.  The Senior Medicare Patrol also teaches Medicare beneficiaries how to protect their Medicare benefits and identity.  The Senior Medicare Patrol also helps Medicare beneficiaries learn how to report fraud and also assists in reporting suspected fraud.

The West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services was awarded the Senior Medicare Patrol grant in June 2015. The WV SMP program works closely with the WV SHIP program to provide comprehensive assistance to Medicare beneficiaries and their family members and caregivers.  WV SMP is always looking for additional volunteers to provide these services.



This project was supported, in part by grant number 90SAPG0081 and 90MPPG0012, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

What's New

  • New Medicare Cards were sent to West Virginia beneficiaries between April and June 2018, Medicare does not send yearly cards and will not call you about card changes - if you get such a call, HANG UP! It is a scam!
  • Medicare Supplement Plans and Monthly Rate Comparisons (November 2021) is online.
  • Guide to Choosing a Medigap Policy is online.
  • 2022 Medicare Costs - This fact sheet provides the premiums and deductibles for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). It also includes information about the income-related monthly adjustment amounts for Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage).
  • Nursing Home Compare website, rating nursing homes throughout the country, has been recently updated. 
  • Many Medicare preventive services are zero deductible and zero copay. Call 1-877-987-4463 to find out what services are covered. 




Mailing Address:

1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305


Town Center Mall, 3rd Level
Charleston, WV


(304) 558-3317, (877) 987-4463


(304) 558-0004

1900 Kanawha Blvd. East, Charleston, WV 25305 • Town Center Mall, 3rd Level • Phone: (304) 558-3317, (877) 987-4463 • Fax: (304) 558-0004