Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Additional Medicare Benefits Programs

The Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas has Medicare Benefits Consultants who can give local seniors and adult disabled residents one-on-one application assistance to apply for additional Medicare benefits.  A Medicare Benefits Consultant can explain more about these additional programs, including the Low-Income Subsidy (also known as the “Extra Help” program), and the Medicare Savings Programs.

The Low-Income Subsidy, also known as the “Extra Help” program, is a financial assistance program administered by the Social Security Administration that helps cover the costs of prescription drugs.  For those who qualify, it may lower your monthly Medicare prescription drug plan premiums, yearly deductibles and co-payments for each prescription.  Many seniors enrolled in the Low-Income Subsidy have saved as much as $3,900 a year in prescription costs.  

Medicare Savings Programs are a different set of benefits that pay for monthly Medicare premiums.  In some instances, they can also save beneficiaries money on other Medicare expenses, such as deductibles, and co-payments.  If a person qualifies for a Medicare Savings program, he or she automatically also qualify for the Low-Income Subsidy.  Eligible Medicare beneficiaries are able to save as much as almost $4,500 a year, not including any additional subsidy benefits.  

If you’re interested in learning more about the benefits available for you, call the Florida Elder Helpline toll-free at 1-800-96-ELDER (1-800-963-5337) and ask to speak with a Medicare Benefits Consultant.  For more information about the Area Agency on Aging of Pasco-Pinellas, visit the agency website at

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