Ms. D was 108 years old when a community-based organization contacted the Medicare Rights Center on her behalf. Although she was eligible for low-income benefit programs that help pay Medicare coverage costs, she had never been enrolled in any. Last year, Medicare Rights helped Ms. D, and nearly 1,000 others with limited incomes and resources in New York alone, enroll in two benefit programs—the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and Extra Help drug subsidy. Together, these programs can save older adults and people with disabilities more than $5,200 each year and help prevent them from having to choose between health care and other basic needs, like food and heat.
Unfortunately, due to a complex application process, lack of awareness, stigma associated with applying, and other factors, several million people across the country are eligible for these programs, but many are not enrolled. As a result, billions of dollars in health care benefits go unclaimed each year.
Ensuring that the most vulnerable people with Medicare have access to affordable health care is central to the mission of Medicare Rights. We screen all helpline callers to see if they qualify for Medicare low-income benefit programs and also provide one-on-one assistance with applications to our New York clients. Every month, one of our dedicated staff members hand delivers applications to the government agency responsible for making MSP enrollment determinations.
Medicare Rights is proud of our enrollment work, which not only makes health care more affordable for our clients but also brings critical dollars back into the communities we serve. For more information, please call our helpline at 800-333-4114.
Medicare Rights receives generous support for its low-income enrollment work from the Altman Foundation, FJC, the New York Community Trust, the New York State Health Foundation, the Fan Fox & Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, the Bernard & Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, and Robin Hood.
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