By Almeda Girod
It is a fitting that Sid Lindenberg, after completing graduate work in Health Care Administration at George Washington University and continuing on to a 34-year career in the Department of Health and Human Services, should become a volunteer for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Each state has this program, which offers free personalized counseling on health care coverage, claims, and appeals, as well as helping people with limited income and resources. Montgomery County operates SHIP through the Jewish Council for Aging of Greater Washington (JCA) in Rockville.
Thankfully, for 10,000 baby boomers need for help with insurance, Sid and others have chosen to become volunteers for SHIP which provides counseling for Medicare beneficiaries individually on the phone or in community seminars. To Sid, it is all about helping others, and he always asks at the end of a conversation “Have I helped you or hindered you?” He particularly receives satisfaction when thanks are given “or when the people of faith say ‘God bless you,’ I then can really believe that I helped people.”
Sid was born in Chicago near to where his father was stationed in the Army Medical Corps during World War II. Lansdale, PA. (population 12,000 in 1950) offered his father, a podiatrist, a financial incentive to move there to practice. His mother was a Jewish refugee from Munich. She ran the office as well as being the disciplinarian for Sid (an only child) and the miniature poodles that she bred and raised. She could take the dogs to obedience school but did not have that option for Sid who admits to being “a difficult child and indifferent student.” The Lindenbergs were a Jewish family living in an area with no other Jewish families within a 30- mile radius.
Sid and Nancy, who are the parents of two daughters, moved to Meadowbrook Square from nearby Silver Spring two years ago.
Persons residing in Montgomery County wanting to use SHIP, the free individual and personalized health-care insurance program, are urged to call 301-265-8471 to speak to a caseworker like Sid. Residents in Prince George’s County should call 301-265-8471.