There are many programs available to help local residents cover healthcare and prescription drug costs. We’ve explained several of these programs in recent posts to the Nutley Family Service Bureau (NFSB) Facebook page.
The NFSB Case Management Program is available to help local residents understand and navigate these programs. Rather than simply explaining what to do, Molly regularly sits down with NFSB clients to discuss paperwork and help them navigate automated phone prompts and long wait times to ensure they get answers.
Here is a brief overview of several programs that can help individuals, families, seniors, and those with disabilities get the financial assistance they need.
Medicare has different “parts” – A, B, C, D, etc. For example, Medicare Part D covers prescriptions, while Medicare Part B covers preventative services, like doctor visits. Unfortunately, Part B deducts money from your Social Security check.
However, the Medicare Savings Program allows those who meet income and resource limits to receive their full Social Security check. Two income-based levels essentially offer the same benefit – Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLIMB) and Qualified Individual (QI-1). Both provide a Medicare Part B Premium reimbursement into the Social Security check so you can receive your gross income rather than net.
A special needs trust allows eligible individuals to receive Medicaid even if they’re above the income limit. Basically, any money above the income limit is placed into a trust and can be used to pay bills. For example, if the income limit is $1,000 and you make $1,200, $200 is placed into a trust.
You’re not losing money with a special needs trust. You’re simply moving those funds so you can qualify for Medicaid.
Seniors and people with disabilities in New Jersey who are not eligible for Medicaid but still need help with prescriptions can apply for Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged & Disabled (PAAD) and Senior Gold. These two programs can help lower co-payments for prescriptions.
With PAAD, generic-brand prescriptions can be lowered to $5, while name-brand prescriptions can be lowered to $7. PAAD can also switch you to a qualifying Medicare Part D plan so you don’t have to do the paperwork. PAAD can cover some premiums as well. In this case, you reduce your premiums and prescription costs.
Senior Gold is a New Jersey state-funded prescription program with a different co-payment structure and different income eligibility requirements than PAAD. Medicare-eligible Senior Gold participants are required to enroll in the Medicare Part D plan of their choice.
The New Jersey Hearing Aid Project (NJHAP) is a program that helps low-income individuals with hearing impairments get a free pair of refurbished hearing aids. Eligible individuals are examined by an NJHAP audiologist and fitted for hearing aids. A great resource for people who already have hearing aids is Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged & Disabled (HAAD), which allows you to apply for reimbursement of $100 per hearing aid.
If you would like to learn more about eligibility requirements and benefits and/or need help applying, please call the NFSB Case Management Coordinator, at (973) 667-1884 extension 5 to schedule an appointment.