Hawaii program offering free in-person help to locals enrolling in Medicare

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — Hawaii residents who need help enrolling in Medicare, which is accepting applicants through Dec. 7, may receive in-person counseling on Oahu.

Medicare helps pay for healthcare services for those eligible, including kupuna 65 years and older, people with disabilities, end-stage renal disease, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The federal healthcare insurance program can be challenging to navigate, but one local company is providing consultations to help with the process.

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The Hawaii State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is offering one-hour counseling appointments on Oct. 22, Oct. 29, Nov. 9 and Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Honpa Hongwanji Hawaii Betsuin in Nuuanu. To make an appointment, click here or call the Hawaii SHIP Helpline at (808) 586-7299.

The local SHIP crew is also providing phone and video counseling options. Those interested should click here or call their hotline; the toll-free number is 1-888-875-9229. The pre-recorded message asks for your name, contact information and a brief message about the days/times you prefer to be called. A Medicare counselor will contact those who have made an appointment within the week.

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Hawaii residents who are already Medicare beneficiaries may still consult with SHIP’s counselors to review their current plans and healthcare needs.

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