The Newman family is sitting around the family computer. They are the father, Dan, 65 years old, his wife Jean, their son Mark, and daughter-in-law, Beth. Dan recently became entitled to Medicare. He and his family are discussing the Medicare program and some resources on the Medicare website at www.medicare.gov.
Dan: But what about my sister Barbara? She only worked for a few years because she decided to stay home to take care of my mother after my father passed. How can she afford to pay for one of these drug plans?
Jean: Do you think there is help with her prescription costs?
Beth: Yes. Actually, it says here that people with Medicare who have limited income and resources may be able to get extra help with the costs of their Medicare drug plan coverage.
Announcer: Eligibility for the extra help may be determined by either the Social Security administration or your state Medicaid office. You can apply for the extra help by completing a paper application that you can get by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778. Applying with the Social Security Administration at www.socialsecurity.gov on the web. Applying through your state Medical Assistance Office. Working with a local organization such as your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). There are certain groups of people who automatically qualify for the extra help and do not have to apply. These include: people with Medicare and full Medicaid benefits including prescription drug coverage; people with Medicare who get Supplemental Security Income only (SSI); people who get help from Medicaid paying their Medicare premiums (Medicare Savings programs).