Extra help is available for senior citizens

Published 12:13 am Sunday, January 19, 2014

Assisting eligible individuals with Medicare prescription benefits is a service the Area Agency on Aging District 7 (AAA7) provides through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) grant from the Ohio Department of Aging.

This project provides outreach to and enrollment assistance for individuals who may be eligible for the Low-Income Subsidy and/or Medicare Savings Program, as well as other Medicare premium assistance programs.

Low Income Subsidy (LIS) or “Extra Help” is a discount plan that can lower your prescription co-pays; cover all or part of your Medicare Part D monthly premiums; or eliminate the “doughnut hole” of coverage for your medications. Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage and is available to anyone eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B.

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Those with Medicare may enroll in Part D coverage through either a stand-alone plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. To be eligible for “Extra Help,” income guidelines and qualifications must be met, and the AAA7 can help determine whether you might be able to benefit from this program, and if so, assist you with the application process.

Each year, our agency conducts outreach to our communities in order to better identify who might be eligible for the “Extra Help” program as there are a large amount of individuals who are eligible, but currently not receiving the benefit. Just last year, in 2013, 87 people, who called our agency to inquire about the program, learned they were eligible and all combined were able to save a total of $221,877, for an average savings of $2,550 per person.

All of the individuals we were able to reach out to throughout our communities during the year were also assisted in additional ways, including Medicare Part D sign-ups, help with finding a Medicare supplemental insurance, providing other services made available through our Agency, and references to additional community organizations that may be able to help.

The AAA7 covers the following counties: Adams, Brown, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton.

If you would like to find out if you are eligible for “extra help” with your Medicare Part D coverage, call us, we can help. Contact our Agency Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. toll-free at 1-800-582-7277.

We can assist you with applying over the phone, or send you a paper application in the mail that you can complete. In addition, we can also assist you with any other Medicare questions you might have.

Or, if your community group or agency has an event coming up that you would like us to participate in to provide more information, please let us know – you can reach us at 1-800-582-7277 or e-mail to info@aaa7.org.


Pamela K. Matura is the executive director of the Area Agency on Aging District 7.