The Social Security Administration has started sending more than 2.2 million Medicare beneficiaries letters alerting them to programs that could help pay their out-of-pocket healthcare expenses, and the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is reassuring the public that the form letters aren’t a scam.
â€œThese letters are an important opportunity for beneficiaries to evaluate their budgets and seek help if their healthcare and prescription costs are overwhelming,â€ said Leslie Fried, senior director of NCOAâ€™s Center for Benefits Access. â€œThere are organizations in every community can help people with Medicare determine if theyâ€™re eligible for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and Medicare Part D Extra Help, help them enroll, and explain how to use the benefits.â€
Roughly 8.5 million people nationally are enrolled in MSP, and about 12 million use Extra Help to afford their Medicare premiums, co-payments, deductibles, and prescriptions. Millions more Medicare beneficiaries are likely eligible for the programs but haven’t applied, Fried said.
â€œEach day, thousands of Baby Boomers turn 65, and many are retiring with increasing amounts of debt and a fixed income,â€ she said. â€œSpiraling healthcare costs are a significant cause of that debt, and these programs go a long way to help reduce that burden. If you receive one of these letters, a quick phone call could make a significant difference.â€