| Wed, Aug 10, 2011 @ 09:00 AM

I am Eligible for Medicare – Can I get Financial Assistance?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

There are a variety of programs that might be able to help you pay your Medicare costs if you need assistance.Are your Medicare costs more than you can afford? Good news—there are programs set up to help people with limited income and assets cover Medicare expenses. Less than half of those who qualify sign up. If you’re in need, don’t hesitate to find out if you qualify and apply. Here are a few programs. More may be available in your area:

1. Extra Help, also called Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), can work with your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to help not only with monthly premiums, but also deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

2. Medicare Savings Programs (the names vary from state to state so call the numbers below for details) are regional programs that help pay Original Medicare (Parts A and B) premiums and also may be able to offer assistance with deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.

3. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program (separate from Medicare) that helps pay medical costs. You may even qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, which would mean most of your health care costs would be covered. Programs vary, so it is important to get information for the state where you live.

4. State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs) are state-run programs to help pay for prescription drugs. Depending on where you reside, they offer different kinds of assistance and have different criteria.

For more information about these and other programs:

  • Call the Medicare Helpline: 1-800-Medicare, TTY 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, seven days a week or visit medicare.gov

Contact your local Social Security office at socialsecurity.gov or 1-800-772-1213 (TTY1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • Your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) or Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) offers free counseling on all your Medicare decisions. Call 1-800-Medicare, TTY 1-877-486-2048, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and ask for the SHIP number in your state.

For more information contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. You can also contact UnitedHealthcare® Medicare Made Clear to learn more <1-877-619-5582>, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


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