COUNCIL ON AGING OPENS NEW BENEFITS ENROLLMENT CENTER

January 31, 2018

 

Understanding and taking advantage of all the benefits that are available to Medicare beneficiaries can be a challenging and stressful process.  People often are unaware of the programs they may be eligible for.  Understanding how the programs work can be difficult.  Application processes can be complicated, frustrating, and time consuming.  Yet, Medicare beneficiaries, who are often living on fixed incomes, can benefit so much from these programs. 

 

To help address this situation, the Council on Aging, is excited to announce that it has established a Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC) to help Medicare beneficiaries understand and enroll in benefit programs that will help them meet the rising costs of healthcare, food, and utilities.

 

The BEC will focus on outreaching and enrolling people into five benefit plans:

Medicaid helps to cover many of the medical expenses that would normally be the responsibility of the Medicare beneficiary, such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance.  Medicaid can also cover services not covered by Medicare, such as vision, hearing, and dental care.

 

Medicare Savings Program (MSP) has four different levels of coverage based on your personal income and assets.  Depending on which program you qualify for, it can pay your Medicare premium, which is estimated to save you over $1,600 each year.  One of the MSP programs also covers Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.  

 

Medicare Part D Extra Help (also called LIS) helps pay for your prescription drugs under Medicare Part D, and gives you an estimated $4,000 savings each year.  Additionally, if you qualify for Extra Help, you can change your part D drug plan at any time, so if there is a sudden change in your circumstances you can always get the most economic drug plan for you.

 

Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as “food stamps,” provides financial assistance to help you meet your nutritional needs, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), helps you manage the cost of your heating and electricity.

 

To take advantage of this opportunity, all you need to do is call (828) 277-8288 or contact us here.   A specialist will conduct a personalized benefits screening process for you to see what benefit programs you may be eligible for, help you complete and submit the applications for these programs, and follow-up to ensure that you are actually receiving your benefits. 

 

The BEC also offers dedicated enrollment and educational events throughout the community.  Please see our calendar for details.

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