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Money Saving ProgramsPosted Thursday, May 20, 2010, at 7:59 AM
This month I wanted to tell you about several programs designed to help certain people to save money on prescription drugs cost, premiums, and deductibles. Also a program is available to assist with paying the Part B premium for those eligible. The guidelines and income levels have changed recently so even if you have applied before and were turned down you might want to try again.
Prescription Drug Costs: There is extra help available for people on Medicare who have a prescription drug program if as a single person your gross income is $1354 per month or less with assets (not counting your house and car) of $12,510 or less OR if you are married and have gross monthly income of $1821 or less with assets of $25,010 or less. If you have a family member living in your home with you for whom you are responsible for at least 50% of their financial support your income can be somewhat higher.
This extra help will pay all or part of your premium for your prescription drug program, all or part of your deductible if you have one, and lower the costs of your co-pays. This can result in a savings of hundreds if not thousands of dollars to you. If you think you might be eligible for this program we will be happy to assist you in applying.
The MO Rx program will pay 50% of the cost of your co-pay for your prescription drugs that are partially paid through your Medicare prescription drug plan. You are eligible for this program if you are single and have gross income of $21,660 or less (assets are not counted) or married with gross income of $29,140 or less. There is no premium to pay, this is a "gift" to you from the state of Missouri. We have applications in our office and would be happy to help you with one. This is a very simple one page application that saves you a lot of money.
If you are having difficulty paying for your prescription drugs we may have some assistance available. The Fraternal Order of the Eagles has been very generous with the money they have raised to help people pay for their prescription drugs. They have given SEMO AAA several thousand dollars to enable us to assist seniors and people with disabilities pay for their prescriptions. This money is to be used as a last resort for assistance, if you know of someone who cannot afford their medications please ask them to contact us at 1-800-392-8771.
Medicare Savings Program: For people who are on Medicare generally their Part A premium is taken directly out of their social security check before they receive the check. Medicare recipients have a choice whether or not to take the Part B part of Medicare. Part B pays a portion of doctor bills, out-patient services, some blood and certain health screenings. If you chose to take Part B prior to Jan. 2010 you generally will be paying $96.50 per month. If you became eligible for Part B after Jan. 2010 generally your cost is $110.50. For certain people there is help paying that premium. For a single person with gross income of $1239 per month or less and assets (not including your house and car) of $6600 or less OR married with gross income of $1660 or less and assets of $9910 or less you probably are eligible. We have the applications in our office and would be happy to help you complete one.
For more information on any of the above listed programs please call Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging at 1-800-392-8771 and ask for Ruth, Jackie or Liz.
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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