MetroWest’s Jewish Family Service ‘urgent need’ SHIP volunteer counselors

MetroWest’s Jewish Family Service is “urgently seeking volunteers” to help with its Medicare counseling program, SHIP.

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) provides free assistance to Essex County Medicare beneficiaries who have problems or questions regarding their health insurance. SHIP is a statewide program administered in Essex County by the Jewish Family Service of MetroWest NJ (JFS) and RSVP. It is funded by the New Jersey Department of Human Services with financial assistance through a grant from the US Administration for Community Living.

SHIP’s volunteer counselors are trained to help people with questions about Medicare, including providing information about Medigap plans, Part D coverage, claims, and benefits. Volunteers also answer questions about Medicaid and low-income assistance programs.

JFS’ main office is located in Florham Park, however, volunteers advise at community sites such as libraries and community centers throughout the county. In-person events are also being held across the county during Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15 – December 7). During the pandemic, JFS is providing services virtually by phone and Zoom.

Volunteer Advisors 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.

This program has two openings. JFS reports that it “especially needs” volunteers who are fluent in Spanish. Virtual training of 40 hours is required with a minimum of 4 hours per week for a one-year commitment. The next training will be held virtually in March on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom.

To volunteer, contact Brittany Bynum at [email protected] or 973-637-1717. Essex County SHIP is operated by RSVP, an AmeriCorps Seniors program, and is only open to volunteers who are 55 and older and willing to undergo a background check.

JFS MetroWest NJ, SHIP’s sponsor in Essex County, is a social services agency providing mental health counseling and support services on a non-discriminatory basis. Present in the community since 1861, JFS today offers “a growing number of programs to a growing number of people”. For children and families, JFS provides individual, child and family counselling, play therapy, support groups, social work services in schools and synagogues, family life education and counseling. other forms of assistance. Rachel Coalition, a division of JFS, provides domestic violence services to all family members affected by domestic violence.

JFS also offers services for seniors and their families, including case management services, counseling, caregiver training, volunteer friendly visitors, and specialized programs for Holocaust survivors. JFS MetroWest is committed to providing inclusive programming.

For more information, call 973-765-9050 or visit

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