Apprise is the State Health Insurance Assistant Program (SHIP) for Pennsylvanians aged 60 and over. The Pennsylvania Department of Aging created APPRISE to help older Pennsylvanians better understand their health insurance options and make sound decisions about what is best for them.
Apprise counselors are specially trained volunteers that can answer your questions about original Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap, long-term care insurance, and preventative care. The counselors can:
Help you understand original Medicare benefits by explaining which services are covered under Parts A and B and your Medicare Summary Notice
Help you make informed choices about Medicare coverage options, including the new Medicare Advantage Plans.
Help you understand the Medicare appeals process and assist you with the appeals paperwork
Help you select a Medigap insurance policy by explaining the benefits that are offered under each plan, and by providing you with a list of companies that sell Medigap plans.
Inform you about eligibility for prescription drug programs and programs that pay Medicare deductions, co-payments, and Part B premiums
The Jefferson County Area Agency on Aging answers the Apprise Telecenter phones, a hotline for all of Pennsylvania, once a week and that day is Friday. The telecenter is staffed by trained volunteers who are here to answer general questions, mail literature on Medicare, Medigap, and other insurance issues, and refer consumers to the local Apprise office in each county. Volunteers are always needed for this program.
There are opportunities for volunteers in the APPRISE program.
Call and ask for Molly McNutt.
(814) 849-3096 or (800) 852-8036
APPRISE can help those on Medicare apply for programs that can help pay the Medicare Part B or the Part D premium. These programs have income and assets guidelines, which increase yearly. The highest income is based on 150% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, and there are resource limits. Resources do not include your house, one car, jewelry, etc. but does include (but not limited to these) your checking, savings, investments, IRAs, cash and if you have a life insurance that has a cash value.
In 2014 a single person can apply to have the Medicare B premium paid if the gross income is under $1,293 per month and assets under $7,160. A married couple can have up to $1,745 monthly and assets under $10,750.
The program to pay the Medicare D premium is called Extra Help or LIS (Low Income Subsidy). In 2014 the maximum monthly gross income for a single person to get help is $1,436 with assets up to $13,440. A married couple maximum is $1,939 monthly and assets up to $26,860.
Call us for help to check your eligibility.
PACE and PACENET
PACE and PACENET is the PA program to help pay for prescriptions. PACE and PACENET guidelines use the previous year’s income. There are no asset guidelines for PACENET program.
For the PACE program – last year’s income for a single person is $14,500/year or less. For married couples – last year’s income is $17,700/year or less.
For the PACENET program – last year’s income for a single person is between $14,501 and $23,500. For married couples – last year’s income is between $17,701 and $31,500.
We also answer questions on other issues related to Medicare!
(814) 849-3096 or (800) 852-8036
Pennsylvania Health Law Project
PHLP is a partner of the APPRISE program, for Low Income Subsidy and the Medicare Savings Program. Check out phlp.org for more information.