One of the things we found on the Needymeds site that we covered in the last post was this tasty tidbit: the feds provide funding to states to create counseling for people on Medicare and their families. How do you find access to that counseling in your state? You go to this map of all the state health insurance assistance (SHIP) programs for each of the states. The assistance may vary: it may include telephone counseling, or regular sites that schedule sessions. It may include speakers that can be recruited by But if you are eligible for Medicare, you are eligible for this counseling. You can learn about Part D (Medicare drug prescription), alternate health plans, and long-care insurance. And you would be hearing it from a volunteer who has no interest in selling you a product--a rare opportunity in insurance. For more information about Medicare, of course, you can see the Medicare web page. To explore all your health care options and possible providers, you can try this interactive government website. Input your information, like age, circumstances (like pre-existing conditions, or whether you have insurance right now), and where you live, and they can pop out a list of possible providers and their costs.