Helping seniors make informed choices
Are you struggling to make ends meet? There are a number of programs in Minnesota for low to moderate-income seniors and people with disabilities. Is your income less than $867 a month ($1,187 for a couple) and are your assets limited? If they ar...
Are you struggling to make ends meet? There are a number of programs in Minnesota for low to moderate-income seniors and people with disabilities.
Is your income less than $867 a month ($1,187 for a couple) and are your assets limited? If they are, or you spend a lot on health care needs each month, you may be eligible for Medical Assistance or Medical Assistance with a Spend-Down. This program assists children under the age of 21, parents or relative caretakers of dependent children, pregnant women, people who are 65 or older and people who have a disability.
Medicare Savings Programs: If your income is too high for Medical Assistance, there are other government programs called Medicare Savings programs that help pay for your Medicare premiums, coinsurance and deductibles. These can help put more money in your pocket. Is your income less than $1,190 a month ($1,595 for a couple) and are your assets $10,000 or less ($18,000 or less for a couple)?
If they are, you may be eligible for one of the Medicare Savings Programs, government programs that help pay your Medicare costs.
Do you need help paying for prescription drugs? Medicare Part D helps pay for prescription drugs. People with limited income may qualify for extra help to lower out-of-pocket costs associated with Part D. You may be eligible for Extra Help through the Social Security Administration if your monthly income is below $1,300 ($1,751 for couples) and assets are below specified limits. The asset guideline is $11,990 for a single person and $23,970 for a married couple. This does not include your home.
Extra Help is a federal program that helps you pay for some or most of the costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage. If you have Medical Assistance, a Medicare Savings Program or receive SSI, you will get Extra Help automatically, you do not need to apply.
Are you a veteran? If you qualify for health benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the VA may help pay for some of the health care costs that Medicare doesn't cover.
You can have both Medicare and veteran's benefits, but Medicare and VA benefits do not work together. To receive VA benefits, you must get care at a VA facility. Medicare does not pay for any care provided at a VA facility.
Many veterans use their VA health benefits to get coverage for services not covered by Medicare. For example, some veterans use VA services to obtain prescription drugs that are excluded from Medicare drug coverage, but rely on Medicare for their other prescriptions and medical care.
This article is made possible with Older Americans Act dollars from the Land of the Dancing Sky Area Agency on Aging. Call the Senior LinkAge at 800-333-2433 to speak with an information specialist, or check out our website at MinnesotaHelp.info. MinnesotaHelp.info is an online directory of services designed to help people in Minnesota find human services, information and referral, financial assistance, and other forms of help. It is especially rich in resource information for seniors and their caregivers; people with disabilities and their caregivers; parents and families; and low-income people.
Editor's Note: Karin Haugrud is a Senior LinkAge Line Specialist, Land of the Dancing Sky - West Central, Fergus Falls, MN 56537.
She can be reached at 218-739-4617 or 800-333-2433.