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Save money, reduce stress

Brenda Kohel

Elder Benefit Specialist for Douglas County

Do you have extra money at the end of the month? Is it hard to make your Social Security check stretch enough to buy groceries, medications, pay the electric bill, insurance, rent and phone bill? Do you worry about how you will pay your bills? Would an extra $100 in the bank each month help?

The Medicare Savings Program can help.

Medicare Savings Programs are designed to help people who have limited finances. When enrolled in the program your Medicare Part B premium, which is otherwise taken out of your Social Security check each month, is paid for you. In certain cases, the deductible and co-pays are also covered. You will continue to receive the same Medicare benefits, see the same doctors, use the same Medicare card and get the same service as before. The only difference is that you will have extra money in the bank each month.

In order to qualify for a Medicare Savings Program you need to meet income and asset guidelines. If you are single, your income must be less than $1,312 a month with assets below $7,160. If you are married, your income must be less than $1,769 a month with assets below $10,750. As a bonus, if you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you can also get a reduced premium and lower deductible and co-pays for your Medicare Part D insurance. That could save you another bundle of money each month.

Participating in the Medicare Savings Programs not only helps you financially, but can also benefit you in other ways. If you are someone who worries about finances, extra money in the bank can reduce your stress and help you live a happier and therefore healthier life. It will also reduce the stress of those who care for you, and about you. And finally, if you have extra money each month, it is likely that it will be spent in your community, helping your local businesses and people who need jobs.

Contact me at Senior Connections at 715-394-3611 or 715-395-7533 for more information on Medicare Savings Programs.