More seniors get extra help with drug costs
Changes to Medicare mean more people will receive financial assistance to cover prescriptions.
Seniors struggling to stay on a budget may get a little extra help from the government if they are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan.
The Social Security Administration says a change in the law makes it easier to qualify for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs. The extra help program provides assistance to more than 9 million senior and disabled Americans, saving them an average of almost $4,000 a year on their Medicare prescription drug plan costs.
"The changes in the Medicare law that take effect this month will allow hundreds of thousands of Americans who are struggling to pay their prescription drug costs to get extra help during these tough economic times," Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue said.
First, it eliminates the cash value of life insurance from counting as a resource. Second, it eliminates the assistance people receive from others to pay for household expenses, such as food, rent, mortgage or utilities, from counting as income.
There also is another important twist in the law. The application for extra help can now start the application process for Medicare Savings Programs -- state programs that provide help with other Medicare costs.
These programs help pay Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premiums. For some people, the Medicare Savings Programs also pay Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) premiums, if any, and Part A and B deductibles and co-payments.
Related reading at ConsumerAffairs.com:
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Cheap LED light bulbs cost more upfront -- between $8 to $10 apiece -- but begin to pay off within 18 months.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'