Buckeye Hills Regional Council Offers Medicare Resources
Every eight seconds someone becomes eligible for Medicare. According to a recent Medicare Made Clear survey, one in five Medicare beneficiaries describes Medicare as confusing; most adults can’t identify what Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover and 70% of baby boomers describe their understanding of Medicare as “fair” or “poor.”
In Southeast Ohio, The Buckeye Hills Regional Council Aging & Disability Division benefits counselors Brandi Hesson, CIRS-A, and Gerri VanNoy, SWA, CIRS-A, (shown at left) are trained and ready to help people with Medicare. They can assist them with finding benefits that help them pay for prescriptions, health care, and other necessities, as well as compare Part D plans and more.
In addition, assisting eligible individuals with Medicare prescription benefits is a service provided through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA). This project provides 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.
In rural Appalachia, all too often we hear about senior citizens living on fixed incomes who cannot afford medications or other health care needs. The Medicare Extra Help Program can save individuals an average of $325 per month on costs associated with prescription drugs. Many are eligible and just don’t take advantage of these real savings. It takes one simple phone call to see if someone is eligible.
The Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as “Extra Help,” is a discount plan that can: lower prescription co-pays; cover all or part of Medicare Part D monthly premiums; or eliminate the “doughnut hole” of coverage for medications. Part D is Medicare’s prescription drug coverage and is available to anyone eligible for Medicare Part A or Part B. 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 Buckeye Hills can help determine whether you might be able to benefit from this program, and if so, assist with the over-the-phone application process.
Seniors who have Medicare questions or who want to learn more about “extra help” with Medicare Part D coverage, should call Buckeye Hills toll-free at 1-800-331-2644 and we can complete the application over the phone in just a few minutes.