Have Medicare? You May Qualify for Assistance in Affording Medications and Medicare Part B Premiums

By Ben Boulden

On-site application assistance for those who qualify for these benefits will be available from 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 16 at the Center on Aging-Northeast at 303 E. Matthews in Jonesboro, part of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS).

To make an appointment, contact Cynthia Abel, education coordinator, at 870-207-7597 or 800-745-0557.

Many people qualify for these benefits and don’t even know it. This year the income limits have gone up so many people who did not qualify in the past may now qualify.

To qualify you must be receiving Medicare and meet the income guidelines. To apply, bring the following information:

  • Proof of income (Social Security, income through work, etc.)
  • Checking, savings accounts, IRAs, mortgage amount
  • Burial plots, burial funds, life insurance policies
  • Property owned other than home
  • Vehicle make, model, year, approximate value and how much owed
  • Social Security and Medicare numbers for you and your spouse

There are two types of programs that may help with medical costs.  The first is the Extra Help with Prescription Medicines program that pays all or part of the Medicare Drug Plan premium and helps with prescription drug costs.  Income requirements are no more than $1,517.50 per month if single and $2,057.50 if married.

The second type is the Medicare Savings Program which helps pay the Medicare Part B premium. The income requirements for this program are less than for the Extra Help. Those who qualify cannot make more than $1,366.20 per month if single and $1,852.20 if married.

The UAMS Center on Aging-Northeast is part of the UAMS Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging. Support is also provided by St. Bernards Healthcare.

UAMS is the state’s only health sciences university, with colleges of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Health Professions and Public Health; a graduate school; hospital; northwest Arkansas regional campus; statewide network of regional centers; and seven institutes: the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute, Jackson T. Stephens Spine & Neurosciences Institute, Myeloma Institute, Harvey & Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Psychiatric Research Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Translational Research Institute. It is the only adult Level 1 trauma center in the state. UAMS has 2,834 students, 822 medical residents and six dental residents. It is the state’s largest public employer with more than 10,000 employees, including 1,200 physicians who provide care to patients at UAMS, its regional campuses throughout the state, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, the VA Medical Center and Baptist Health. Visit www.uams.edu or www.uamshealth.com. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.