Most Medicare beneficiaries have concerns about how they will pay for health care in retirement. We all know about Medicare insurance plans but are you familiar with the state and federal assistance programs that are available to Medicare beneficiaries?
Most Medicare beneficiaries are retired so they survive on a fixed monthly income that is usually lower than they would like it to be. For that reason, the federal government and many states offer programs designed to help you with Medicare-related health costs. Eligibility for these programs is based on your monthly income and resources.
The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) is a subsidy available to Medicare beneficiaries that will pay Medicare Part A and B premiums if you qualify. In New York State MSP is a function of Medicaid so to apply or to get income level requirements, please contact your local Medicaid office, or feel free to contact us as we help people to apply for the Medicare Savings Program every day.
Extra Help (Low Income Subsidy) (LIS) is a program designed to help Medicare beneficiaries with the cost of Medicare Part D prescription drugs. You must have a Medicare Part D plan to qualify for Extra Help, and if you do not have a Part D plan, you will automatically be enrolled in one once you are enrolled in the Extra Help program. Extra Help can be a lifesaver for people with expensive medications and low fixed incomes. Most people are automatically enrolled in Extra Help but if you were not enrolled contact the Social Security Administration and they will help you to apply.
Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) is a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP) provided by New York State, and it is designed to help Medicare beneficiaries with the cost of Medicare Part D prescriptions. It is very different from Extra Help, and you can not have both. It exists for people whose incomes are too high to get Extra Help but still have costly prescriptions and need assistance.
For more information on these programs, please feel free to contact us. Good luck on you Medicare journey.