The Rapidian

Are Your Prescription Drugs or Medicare Premiums Costing Too Much?

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

The cost of health care and prescriptions can be crippling for many older adults. For those on Medicare, there may be ways to help reduce these costs.
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The rising cost of health care has many people scrambling to pay co-pays and prescription costs, but for older adults on Medicare, there may be some relief.

The Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) wants seniors to know if they are on Medicare and have limited incomes, they may qualify for help with costs like Medicare Part B premiums, prescription drug premiums and prescription drug costs.

To qualify for the extra assistance, older adults must meet the following income and asset guidelines for 2013:

  • Single: Gross Income: $1,457 per month Assets: $13,300
  • Couple: Gross Income: $1,959 per month Assets: $26,580

 

“These assistance programs, offered through the Centers for Medicare/Medicaid Services, can be a lifesaver for seniors with limited incomes,” says Bob Callery, Regional MMAP Coordinator. “Reducing their out of pocket expenses on medical services may allow them to pay other bills or prevent them from having to choose between prescriptions and other essentials such as food or utilities.”

MMAP, a statewide program that helps older adults make informed health care decisions, can also determine if an individual qualifies and sign them up for these programs. MMAP is staffed by volunteers who undergo regular trainings in Medicare and Medicaid so they are familiar with the enrollment process.

“Our volunteers can counsel seniors over the phone or in person to determine if they are a fit for the extra assistance programs,” says Callery. “The entire enrollment process is done online, which is a problem for those older adults without computer access. Our volunteers help turn a confusing process into one that can reduce monthly bills and help seniors save money.”

For more information, or to see if you qualify, contact MMAP at 1-800-803-7174.

MMAP is a statewide program with a local office at the Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan. For more information on the MMAP program, visit  www.aaawm.org/medicare_medicaid_assistance . For more information on other senior services, contact Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan at (616) 456-5664 or visit www.aaawm.org

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