Lansing, MI (PRWEB) March 16, 2014
MMAP executive director, Jo Murphy said, “Millions of low-income older Americans struggle to pay their prescription, health care, food, and energy costs. The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) grants have been instrumental in helping these disadvantaged seniors to regain their economic footing and lead healthy, independent lives.”
Under MIPPA, the Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) receives funding to help Medicare beneficiaries apply for the Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) and the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs). MMAP, Inc. has helped qualified low-income Michigan seniors and younger adults with disabilities submit over 14,000 applications for benefits that make Medicare affordable.
For someone with very low income, the savings offered by public benefits can mean not having to make tough choices between paying for food or medicine, health care or utilities. The Social Security Administration estimates the value of the Part D Low Income Subsidy at $4,000/yr. Medicare Savings Programs save, at a minimum, $1,200/yr, while the average annual benefit for seniors under Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is $1,428/yr.
Every dollar spent in federal benefits generates local economic activity. When people miss out, it affects not only them, but their communities as well, as benefits are spent or used at local pharmacies, grocery stores, and physicians’ offices.
MMAP educates vulnerable seniors about how to use and retain these programs.
A MMAP counselor relates this story of a man she helped to receive LIS: “Last month I assisted a new Medicare beneficiary. While discussing his monthly income, I noticed that he was $2 below the threshold to qualify for the Low Income Subsidy, which I helped him to apply for.
Two weeks after applying, I received a telephone call from the beneficiary. He was in tears because it not only lowered his monthly premium, but one of his seven medications has a retail cost of $1,600 per month. The most he will pay for his medications now is $245 a month.
The man told me that his prescriptions have never been that affordable. He was very grateful for the help he received.”
About Michigan Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP)
MMAP (pronounced “map”) provides free health benefits counseling services for Michigan’s Medicare beneficiaries, including younger adults who have Medicare due to a disability and Medicare beneficiaries who may also qualify for Medicaid. MMAP counselors provide personalized counseling to help beneficiaries understand and make informed decisions about their Medicare benefits and plan options. MMAP also promotes Medicare Fraud Awareness and works to educate beneficiaries on how to detect and report suspected Medicare Fraud.
MMAP is part of the national networks of State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIP) and Senior Medicare Patrols (SMP). It is dedicated to providing objective and confidential health benefits counseling services and is not affiliated with nor does it receive funding from the insurance industry. Funding for MMAP comes from grants from the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Beneficiaries who would like to talk with a MMAP counselor should call 1-800-803-7174