Low Income Assistance for Medicare Beneficiaries

07:25 PM January 24, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California—You may not know it; if you are Medicare beneficiary or you are turning 65 and about to receive your Medicare, there are low income assistance programs that you can avail of.

If you are low income, you may be eligible and qualify for Extra Help (also known as Low-Income Subsidy), which helps pay for your Medicare Part D (Prescription drug plan), or you may qualify for Medicare Savings Program for savings in paying premium for Part B (Medical Insurance) and/or Part A (Hospital Insurance).


For 2012, there are six Medicare Part D plans that have basic benefits with monthly premiums below the California benchmark of $30.86.  If you have Medicare and free  Medi-Cal, or you qualify and enrolled for full Extra Help, you don’t have to pay a premium or deductible. You may have a copayment for each prescription, up to $2.50 for generic drugs and up to $6.30 for brand name drugs.

These plans include Aetna CVS/pharmacy Prescription Drug plan, CVS Caremark Value, EnvisionsRcPlus Silver, Health Net Orange Option 1, Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx and Welcare Classic. For those enrolled in other Medicare part D Plan, they may have to pay premium and/or deductible and higher copayments. But these may cost less than those who do not have part D plan at all.


If you get Extra Help with your Medicare, Social Security may contact you periodically to review your status. This review will ensure that you are still eligible for Extra Help and receiving all the benefits you deserve. However, if you are not selected for a review, there will be no change in the amount of Extra Help you receive.

It is important for seniors and persons with disabilities to know about the changes in Medicare, as well as in receiving benefits they deserve. If you want to know your enrollment status and would want assistance in enrolling to part D, Extra Help and Medicare Savings Program, please contact ADRC at 415-487-3370.

The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of the Episcopal Community Services of San Francisco is a City funded program that provides up-to-date information, referral and assistance for seniors and persons with disabilities.

ADRC is funded by the San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services (DAAS) and works closely with DAAS, Integrated Intake Unit, the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco (ILRCSF), Self-help for the Elderly (SHE), and the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP).

To learn more, or would want to hear a presentation on the changes and low income assistance in Medicare benefits for your group or for yourself, please call the ADRC at 415-487-3370. ADRC main office is located at Canon Kip Senior Center on 705 Natoma Street in San Francisco.

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TAGS: Health, Medicare, San Francisco, United States
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