Relay for extra help

Published 3:36 pm Monday, December 7, 2009

To the Editor:

On October 7th representatives from the Area Agency on Aging participated in an exciting event in Raleigh – the Relay for Extra Help campaign kickoff event. Aging advocates joined legislators in walking one mile to raise awareness about a very important program that affects more than thousands of Medicare recipients across our state.

Relay for Extra Help is a statewide enrollment campaign for Medicares Extra Help Low Income Subsidy and Medicare Savings Programs that help eligible Medicare recipients pay for their prescription drug coverage, medicines, and other Medicare medical coverage.

The Relay for Extra Help campaign encourages Medicare recipients to help each other by relaying the message to their local communities that financial assistance is available even for those who might not typically receive government assistance. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has identified that North Carolina has more than 80,000 Medicare recipients who potentially qualify for the cost savings programs, but have not enrolled.

This is a key part of the Relay for Extra Help message even people who do not normally receive government assistance paying for their expenses may qualify. We encourage anyone who is currently receiving Medicare benefits to learn more about the Extra Help and Medicare Savings Plans, because you might qualify without even knowing it.

For more information about Extra Help, the Medicare Savings Programs, or with help applying contact our office or the NC Department of Insurances SHIIP Division (Seniors Health Insurance Information Program) to learn more. &bsp;

Area Agency on Aging

828-287-2281 or 1-800-331-9891

NC Department of Insurances SHIIP Division

1-800-443-9354

In this economy, every penny counts.&bsp; If you, or someone you know, could benefit from this program please contact us so we can help you with the application process.

Mandy Johnson, Area Agency on Aging, Isothermal Planning and Development