Friday, May 1, 2009

National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment Blogs About It!

The National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment, an event co-sponsor, blogs about the current economic crisis and how it's affecting elders.

As the current economic crisis deepens, the assets and net worth of older adults and younger people with disabilities – like that of all Americans – are also shrinking, forcing many to choose once again between paying for medications and paying for food or energy bills. However, as we mark the beginning of Older Americans Month, it is important to remember that there is a safety net for older adults – particularly those in need. Programs such as the Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as Food Stamps), State Pharmacy Assistance Programs (in many states), and more provide much-needed, valuable benefits for seniors with limited means.

Yet despite the existence of this safety net (and much intense outreach and enrollment work on the part of national, state and local agencies), millions of seniors who have limited incomes and resources qualify for, but are not yet enrolled in programs that help pay for prescription drugs, medical care, food or heat for their homes. Estimates show that somewhere between 1.8 and 3 million Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for, but not receiving, LIS. The enrollment rate in one of the MSPs is only 13 percent, and only about one-third of eligible seniors participate in SNAP.

At the National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment at the National Council on Aging, we are working to improve access to benefits for seniors and younger adults with disabilities, and we invite you to join us in this important work. You can find out if you or someone you know qualifies for benefits through BenefitsCheckUp, our free, confidential online Web service. Or if you’re an organization working on benefits access issues, email us to let us know how you’re working to improve benefits access for seniors in your state. We look forward to hearing from you!


Anonymous said...

Older people need all the help they can get -- especially those who don't know they can get benefits. This couldn't be more timely during the worsening economic situation and this is an innovative way to help those in need -- especially people newly in need.

Anonymous said...

Elders are experiencing economic "insecurity" now so this initiative is critical. The Center is a new way to reach people who didn't even know they could get help and is even more important now. Great to see this action by NCOA and WOW!

Frederick R. said...

I think that LIS and other programs like it are great for elderly people. I am still fairly young but its good to learn about these type of programs now so I can spread the word to my grandparents and aging parents.

yolanda said...

Very interesting and resourceful website. We are dealing with family members who are elderly and we are searching for resources.
Great information

Vanessa said...

In one scam, a con artist calls or e-mails seniors and falsely claims to be from the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration. The scammer then asks for personal information such as the recipient’s Social Security number, bank account, or credit card number in order to deposit the stimulus payment. The scammer then cleans out the victim’s bank account or runs up credit card charges.