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Help available for seniors to make every dollar count

December 16, 2009
Times Leader
IN?ECONOMIC?times like these, every dollar counts. Estimated to be worth an average of $3,900 a year, there may be “Extra Help” for prescription drug plan costs especially for senior citizens who have limited income and resources.
Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some with limited incomes and resources are also eligible for “Extra Help” with the costs of monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments for a Medicare plan.
The Buckeye Hills Area Agency on Aging 8 (AAA8) has more details on this “Extra Help” or Low-income Subsidy (LIS) available in Ohio as well as other programs that may assist those who are 60+ and on limited incomes.
“We know that many people in our rural region qualify for these big savings but they don’t even know it,” said Buckeye Hills AAA8 Director Rick Hindman. “They can find out more information about this and other helpful programs by calling our office. Trained professionals will help assess what programs seniors may be eligible for and assist with getting them enrolled.”
Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income may qualify for extra help to pay for prescription drug costs. The “Extra Help” provides assistance paying for monthly premiums, annual deductibles, prescription coinsurance and co-payments and no gap in coverage. Hindman explained that some seniors face what is called the Medicare “Doughnut Hole.” This is a gap in coverage that forces people who had been getting their drugs cheaply to suddenly pay the full price out of pocket.
“Research shows that last year an estimated 3.4 million Medicare beneficiaries reached the prescription coverage gap,” said Hindman. “Especially those taking medications for a chronic disease such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, depression, and high blood pressure are especially likely to reach the gap.”
 To find out more about the “Extra Help” available or to learn about other programs, call AAA8 at 1-800-331-2644 or visit  AAA8 serves Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Noble, Perry and Washington Counties.


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