Get help to pay Medicare costs

TIMES-REPUBLICAN

Many Iowans, especially those living on a fixed income, may be in need of help paying for their Medicare premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and drug costs. The Medicare Savings Program and Extra Help programs can offer assistance to Iowans in need.

“SHIIP is available to help Iowans participate in these programs which could offer a lot of savings for Iowans,” said Kris Gross from the State of Iowa’s Senior Health Insurance Information Program.

The Medicare Savings Program is a state program that helps pay for Medicare premiums, deductible and coinsurances. There are three Medicare Savings Programs available to those that qualify. Individuals income and assets will determine what assistance they may receive. At a minimum, those who qualify will get their Part B premium paid, which could save them as much as $134 a month.

Iowans may qualify for one of the three Medicare Savings Programs if their income is below $1,376.75 (single) or $1,847 (couple) and their assets are less than $7,390 (single) or $11,090 (couple). Call SHIIP for more information or for help applying at 641-754-5399.

The Extra Help program assists with Medicare Part D drug costs. Iowans that qualify may get help paying their Part D premium, deductible and co-payments. For Iowans that qualify for Extra Help there is no “donut hole” in the Medicare Part D coverage.

Iowans may qualify for the Extra Help program if their income is below $1,527.50 (single) or $2,050 (couple) and their assets are less than $13,820 (single) or $27,600 (couple). Call SHIIP for more information or help applying at 800-351-4664 (TTY 800-735-2942).

SHIIP counselors are available in communities across Iowa and are available to help answer questions and assist with problems Iowans have concerning Medicare and related health insurance. All services are free, confidential and objective. In Marshalltown, residents with Medicare questions may call the local SHIIP headquartered at UnityPoint Health-Marshalltown at 641-754-5399 or visit www.therightcalliowa.gov.