Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with limited resources and income also may be able to get Extra Help to pay for the costs—monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments—related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don’t even know it.

To qualify for Extra Help:

  • Resources must be limited to $13,440 for an individual or $26,860 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. Your home, car, and any life insurance policy are not counted as resources; and
  • Annual income must be limited to $17,508 for an individual or $23,592 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher are if you or your spouse support other family members who live with you or have earnings from work.

It’s easy to apply for Extra Help. Just complete Social Security’s Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs (SSA-1020). Here’s how:

  • You can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp
  • Call Social Security at (800) 772-1213 or TTY (800) 325-0778 to apply over the phone or to request an application
  • Apply at your local Social Security office or
  • Apply through the Wayne County Department of Aging and Youth.

After you apply, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify for Extra Help.

  • What is long term care?
  • Long-term care is provided to people who are unable to perform the basic tasks of everyday living on their own for an extended period due to chronic medical, physical or cognitive conditions, or disabling injuries.
  • What is long term care insurance?
  • Long-term care insurance covers long-term care services provided in a nursing home, at home, in an assisted living facility, or in other community-based settings. Medicare, Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap), and traditional health and disability insurance plans typically do not cover long-term care services.
  • Today, the cost of staying in a nursing home in New York can be very expensive – often over $90,000 a year. Home care can be very expensive, as well. Few people can afford this cost without using all their life savings. Long-term care insurance allows you to protect your assets in the event you need long term care sometime in the future, just like you protect yourself with homeowner’s insurance and auto insurance.
  • Why would I need long term care insurance?
  • In the past, people did very little planning for long-term care needs because family members were usually available to provide care. But changes in society and the family make this arrangement harder today and in the future. Smaller families, family members moving to other locations, both heads of households working, and longer life expectancy mean family members are less likely to be available as a caregiver, while you are more likely to need long term care in the future. As long-term care costs increase, quality long-term care insurance is a way to protect your financial independence.
  • How much does it cost?
  • The long-term care insurance premium depends on your purchase age and what you choose to cover – the younger you are, the lower the premium. New York State provides an income tax credit for all tax qualified long-term care insurance policies to help more people afford long-term care insurance coverage.
  • How do I find out more?

Long-term care insurance isn’t for everyone. To learn if it makes good financial sense for you, please contact the Department of Aging and Youth at 946-5624. A staff member can review with you which plans may provide adequate coverage at a reasonable cost.

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