June 11, 2018
Mrs. K came to CCHCC with a dire and frightening situation. She is 70 years old and had recently been diagnosed with cancer. She had Medicare Part A to cover hospital stays, but she had never signed up for Medicare Part B for outpatient care and doctors’ services, or a Part D plan for prescriptions. The hospital social workers told her she should look into getting Part B, but they did not realize that Mrs. K had already considered Part B and could not afford it. With all her upcoming medical needs, she was not sure how she would be able to get coverage and afford the cost of her care and treatment.
Champaign County Health Care Consumers (CCHCC) is helping Mrs. K to get the Medicare coverage she needs so that she can get her cancer treatment and medications.
But we are steadily seeing more community members who declined Medicare Part B coverage when they first became eligible, because they could not afford it and did not realize that there were programs to help them afford their coverage. They, like Mrs. K, end up in crisis when a health situation that requires treatment arises. These individuals need our help to navigate the Medicare system.
That is why CCHCC is launching our Medicare Education, Enrollment, and Advocacy Project, and we hope you will help support this effort.
Medicare is complicated! CCHCC is here to help.
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older; certain younger people with disabilities; and people with End-Stage Renal Disease.
Medicare is complicated. There are many parts, and there are many options for additional coverage. And there are more expenses that go with Medicare than most people realize.
Many people who are turning 65 and signing up for Medicare Parts A and B are surprised to learn that Part A has a hospital deductible, and Part B has a monthly premium. For too many individuals, facing the monthly Premium of Part B at the very same time that they are going on to the fixed income of their Social Security retirement benefits, the cost of Part B is just too much and some elect to forego Part B coverage. And without Part B coverage, they cannot get Part D prescription drug coverage.
Medicare is complicated, but CCHCC’s knowledgeable and experienced Community Health Workers are here to help our community members navigate the Medicare system!
Resources for low-income Medicare beneficiaries
CCHCC has expertise in helping low-income Medicare beneficiaries. The Medicare Savings Program helps pay the Medicare Part B monthly premiums for low-income Medicare beneficiaries. If more low-income individuals knew about The Medicare Savings Program at the time that they are signing up for Medicare, fewer people would forego Part B coverage.
The Medicare Extra Help Program helps make Part D prescription coverage and out-of-pocket prescriptions more affordable for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
CCHCC helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries apply and qualify for these programs. But too many people are unaware that these programs exist, so CCHCC is working hard to provide community education about these programs.
CCHCC’s Medicare Education, Enrollment, and Advocacy Project
Our Medicare work includes both direct client services, as well as community education. Every fall, CCHCC holds a Medicare Open Enrollment Community Meeting, to help prepare community members for choosing a Medicare Part D prescription plan, or a Medicare Advantage plan, and to provide information about any new changes to Medicare. In addition, CCHCC develops easy-to-understand handouts on Medicare, and does presentations to community groups.
We hope you will help support CCHCC’s Medicare Education, Enrollment, and Advocacy Project by making a commitment to help share CCHCC’s resources with others, letting people know that we are here to help; and/or making a financial contribution to support this work.
We thank you for your commitment, and for your ongoing support and involvement!