Access to Newly Expanded Medicare Savings Program Benefits to Save Beneficiaries an Estimated Average of $7,000 Annually Starting In 2023
Objective Statewide Health Insurance Counseling Program Available toHelp and Screen Beneficiaries During Medicare's Open Enrollment Between Now and December 7
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that more New Yorkers will be eligible for additional financial assistance in 2023 through the newly expanded Medicare Savings Program. Adopted through the FY 2023 State Budget, the increased income-eligibility limits will help older adults and individuals with disabilities pay for health care costs, which is estimated to save them an average of $7,000 annually.
"We have an obligation to help older adults and individuals with disabilities to age within their community with dignity," Governor Hochul said. "By expanding eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program, we can ensure that a greater number of these New Yorkers aren't burdened by the cost of healthcare. I encourage all eligible beneficiaries to apply for this program so they can save money and improve their health care coverage."
Starting in January, the monthly income eligibility limits for the Medicare Savings Program will increase to an estimated $2,107 for an individual and $2,839 for a couple, based on the 2022 federal poverty level. New Yorkers can apply for this program throughout the year and during open enrollment, which started earlier this month and continues through December 7.
The expanded assistance goes into effect in 2023, but all beneficiaries should check to see if they are eligible under the new guidelines. Official income limits will be updated after the new federal poverty level goes into effect next year. Estimates indicate these benefits could save enrollees an average of over $7,000 annually based on the cost of the monthly premium and value of the Extra Help benefit, the federal Part D prescription drug subsidy program.
The Medicare Savings Program helps older adults and people with disabilities living on limited incomes by paying their Medicare Part B premiums - about $170 per month this year and $165 per month starting in 2023 - and automatically enrolls them in Extra Help. This financial assistance can be a lifeline for enrollees, allowing them to maintain their Medicare coverage, access needed care, and afford other necessities like food and rent.
Help is also available in every county through the statewide Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program, which is administered by the New York State Office for the Aging. This program offers free and objective counseling for Medicare beneficiaries needing assistance applying for the Medicare Assistance Program or any other Medicare-related question now that the federal Medicare open enrollment period is in effect.
A local counselor can be reached by calling the statewide helpline at 1-800-701-0501. Information about applying for this program can also be found online.
New York State Office for the Aging Acting Director Greg Olsen said, "Along with our provider network last year, we assisted more than 16,000 beneficiaries with their application for Medicare Savings and other income-eligible programs, which helped to save them more than $48 million in Medicare and prescription costs. Thanks to Governor Hochul's commitment to helping older adults and individuals with disabilities, we are ready to provide even more support for New Yorkers struggling with healthcare costs and other expenses."
Medicare Rights Center President Fred Riccardi said, "Starting in 2023, this historic change will help nearly 300,000 more New Yorkers access the vital benefits they need and help with the costs of daily living. It will directly increase an eligible person's social security income by paying the full cost of the Medicare Part B premium. Medicare fall open enrollment is the time that people with Medicare can make unrestricted changes to their coverage options and we encourage everyone to be screened for the Medicare Savings Program and apply when eligible."
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