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Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

Irene Lospenuso

Irene Lospenuso, Director

Note about SHIP: The most recent SHIP pamphlet lists an incorrect telephone number for Emergency Alert System (America Medical Alert). The correct number is 800-645-3244.

The Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a unique package of benefits developed by the UFT's Retired Teachers Chapter exclusively for its members. It is a supplement to the coverage available from regular health insurance benefits and is activated only after those providers have paid their benefits.Its wide-ranging supplemental benefits include ambulances, hearing aids, customized orthopedic shoes, surgical stockings and private-duty nursing. Retirees must enroll in SHIP within the first year of retirement.

For a modest yearly fee of $120, SHIP will supplement certain payments provided by your New York City health coverage up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $100,000/$10,000 for pre-existing conditions.

SHIP does not require a medical examination for enrollment.

SHIP is a supplemental program and, as a separate entity, requires those who enroll to apply for benefits only after primary payments have been satisfied and to notify SHIP separately of any changes such as a new address, a divorce or a death.

Additional information is available by calling the SHIP office at 212-228-9060 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

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Frequently Asked Questions

A list of the most commonly asked questions.
What is the SHIP health insurance program for retired teachers?

The Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a unique package of benefits developed by the Retired Teachers Chapter of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT-RTC) exclusively for its members. It provides a supplement to coverage available through city's regular health insurance providers and is activated only after those providers have paid their benefits.

SHIP is a low-cost program to coordinate with most health plans available to retirees of New York City systems. For a modest yearly fee, SHIP will supplement certain payments provided by your New York City health coverage up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $100,000/$10,000 for pre-existing conditions.

SHIP does not require a medical examination for enrollment.

SHIP is separate from your health plan and welfare fund and therefore must be notified of any changes (i.e., death, divorce, marriage). 

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How soon can I apply for the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) upon retirement?

You must first be enrolled as a UFT-RTC (Retired Teachers Chapter) member. Your SHIP application cannot be processed until your retirement date, therefore, please send your application and payment approximately one month prior to your date of retirement. 

How much does the Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) cost? How much money do I need to send when I enroll?

Please refer to the SHIP card for the exact fees, as they depend on the time of year and whether or not you also enroll a spouse or domestic partner. You must pay upfront for the first year through December and the cost is $10.00 per month per person.

Will I be notified if my Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) application is incomplete?

If there are any issues with your SHIP application, we will notify you via email to resolve any issues which may hold up your approval. 

How soon after receipt will my Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) application be processed?

The SHIP application process begins the day you retire and are enrolled as a UFT-RTC (Retired Teachers Chapter) member. We strive to have all applications processed on the day of retirement, but please allow for up to one week to complete the application process. 

Do you have to be a member of the UFT Retired Teachers Chapter to qualify for SHIP benefits?

Yes. The UFT's Supplemental Health Insurance Program (SHIP) is a unique package of benefits developed by the UFT's Retired Teachers Chapter exclusively for its members. 

How do I submit my SHIP application to the UFT?

You can download the SHIP application from the UFT website and mail it along with payment listed on the form to: SHIP, 52 Broadway, 17th fl., New York, NY 10004

What information do I need to include on my SHIP application?

You must include:

  • Your name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Retirement date
  • Social Security number
  • A pension deduction authorization

Please make sure to also sign off on the pension deduction authorization, or you will be charged a $30 administrative fee. If you would also like to enroll a spouse/domestic partner, you must attach a copy of either your marriage certificate or domestic partner registration along with the application. 

How do I know if the UFT has received my SHIP application?

We strive to have all applications processed as soon after the date of retirement as possible, but due to a high volume of applicants, please allow for up to one week's processing time. You will receive a welcome packet once your SHIP enrollment is finalized. If there are any issues with your application that may hold up your application, we will notify you via email.