Reminder to Apply for the Medicare Savings Programs and Extra Help

Programs to help with Medicare costs are available but eligible Medicare beneficiaries are not always getting connected to these important benefits.  A recent study by the National Council on Aging and the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University found that there are significant numbers of older adults who are financially eligible for programs that help with Medicare costs but are not enrolled.   

The Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) cover the monthly Medicare Part B premium, currently $144.60.  For individuals with very low incomes, these programs also cover Medicare Parts A and B deductibles and cost-sharing.  The Extra Help program, also called the Low-Income Subsidy or LIS program, helps eligible Medicare beneficiaries by limiting what people pay for their Medicare prescription drug (Part D) coverage and medications.  

We encourage readers who have had changes to their financial situation to apply, even if you have been denied in the past.  APPRISE, Pennsylvania’s State Health Insurance Program, can help people on Medicare or those who will soon be on Medicare apply for these important programs.  For help applying for these programs, contact APPRISE at 1-800-783-7067.  

New Medicare Part D Resources

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the Medicare Rights Center have developed new resources on Medicare Part D coverage, appeals, and late enrollment penalties.  See here for links to these materials.