If you have Medicare and you’re facing challenges with paying for health care, you may be eligible for programs that can help you save money on medical and drug costs.

At Elderly Services, our team is dedicated to helping seniors who may be struggling.

People with limited income and resources may qualify for Medicaid — a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs.

Even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs may be able to help you pay your Medicare premiums and other costs that add up quickly. If your income is $1,435 or less for an individual, or $1,939 for a couple, and your resources are under $7,860 for an individual or $11,800 for a couple, you may already be eligible for one of these programs.

If you qualify for Medicaid or one of the Medicare Savings Programs, you’ll automatically get Extra Help paying for your prescription drug costs. Extra Help is a Medicare program that helps people with limited income and resources pay Medicare prescription drug costs, like premiums, deductibles and coinsurance.

If you don’t automatically qualify for Extra Help, you may still be eligible if your income is $1,595 or less for an individual, or $2,155 for a couple, and your resources are under $13,110 for an individual and $26,160 for a couple. You may call us at Elderly Services to receive personalized assistance from our Elder Benefit Specialist, or you can apply online for Extra Help with Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov or by calling: 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

Another program that can help with your prescription drug costs is SeniorCare, Wisconsin’s Prescription Drug Assistance Program. This program is available to Wisconsin residents who are age 65 or older and are a U.S. citizen or have qualifying immigrant status. Your annual income determines your level of coverage in this program. For more information or to access an application online, go to: www.dhs.Wisconsin.gov/seniorcare or call: 1-800-657-2038.

It’s important to call or fill out an application if you think you could qualify for savings, even if your income or resources are higher than the amounts listed above. These amounts change yearly, and you may be eligible for another savings program depending on your situation.

To find out if you’re eligible for savings through one of these programs or other services offered through our agency, contact Elderly Services at 715-854-7453, toll free at 1-800-990-4242, or by email at aging@mces.net. We can also help with questions about Social Security, SSI, Disability, Foodshare, Energy Assistance, Homestead Tax Credit, and much more.

While our doors are currently closed, we are still open by phone and remotely during our regular business hours during the COVID-19 Pandemic. As you come across seniors who may be struggling during this time, please let them know that we are still operating our Home Delivered Meal Program and Grab N Go Meals in addition to Benefit Specialist Services, and we have also reopened our Transportation Program on a limited basis with safety measures in place.

We continue to provide services to support and meet the needs of elderly to maintain independence and empower seniors and their families to advocate for themselves. As always, we strive to fulfill our mission of assisting seniors in living a longer, healthier and more fulfilled life.

Olivia Cherry is an Elder Benefit Specialist and the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources Inc.