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Health Insurance


 Find out what's new in health insurance on our Facebook - Erie Hiicap.

 Check out Senior Services' Health Insurance Help ad!

The Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program
needs volunteer counselors to help people understand health insurance options
and long term care insurance options.
Training and certification is provided. Make your own hours at a senior center near you.
Call RSVP at 858-7548 for more information.

We regularly hold Informational Events regarding your health insurance options, how to pay for Long Term Care & Health Insurance Information at community sites... For the current schedule, call 858-7883 or click here for a calendar of Department events. 

Some Frequently Asked Questions for the Insurance Resource Center

Topics

 

EPIC (Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage)

  • This program, administered by the New York State Department of Health, helps eligible older New Yorkers cope with the high cost of prescription drugs
  • To obtain an application, call EPIC at 1-800-332-3742 or visit their website at http://www.health.ny.gov/health_care/epic/ for further information
  • Benefit Checklist

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Prescription Programs

  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Patient Assistance Programs. Eligibility depends on the criteria set by the individual companies; usually for low-income individuals with no other prescription coverage. An individual's physician needs to contact the company on his/her behalf.

    For further information, call PhRMA at 1-202-835-3400 or visit their website at http://www.phrma.org

  • National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) Patient Assistance Programs. Assists individuals in obtaining prescriptions they could not otherwise afford or that are not yet on the market. Through the NORDPatient Assistance Program, eligible patients are provided cost-free medication, or, in some cases, subsidy for high health insurance co-payments.

    For further information, call NORD at 1-203-744-0100 or visit their website at http://www.rarediseases.org

  • New York State offers discounts on nearly all prescription drugs to low-income persons between the ages of 50 and 65. More than 2,500 pharmacies across the State are participating. To be eligible for the card, annual income must be at or below $35,000 for single persons and at or below $50,000 for married individuals. Individuals enrolled in Medicaid or in the State's Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program are not eligible for the Prescription Saver Card. The program, administered through the State Department of Health, is expected to provide lower-income New Yorkers with average savings of 30 to 40 percent off the price of generic, and at least 25 percent off the full retail, price of brand name prescriptions. Actual savings will vary depending on the quantity, type and brand of drug purchased. Applications are accepted online at nyprescriptionsaver.fhsc.com or by phone at 1-800-788-6917. Applications are also available at pharmacies and through community organizations. Approved participants receive a New York Prescription Saver Card usually within two weeks of filing their application.

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HIICAP (Health Insurance Information, Counseling and Assistance Program)

  • Provides information and assistance regarding Medicare, Medicare Supplemental (Medigap), Long-Term Care, Managed Care (HMOs), EPIC, Medicaid, and other insurance options.
  • One-on-one counseling is available by appointment, along with confidential assistance with claims filing and referrals to appropriate agencies, including those offering legal assistance
  • To schedule an appointment, call the Erie County Department of Senior Services (HIICAP) at 716-858-7883 or visit the HIICAP website at   for further information

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Medicare

Medicare pays for a full range of preventive services and screenings including diabetes, cardiovascular, prostate, and colorectal screenings. These screenings can help people stay healthy and detect conditions like cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease early -- when treatment works best. Senior Services encourages you to speak with your doctor(s) about the preventive benefits covered by Medicareas some restrictions to coverage may apply:

  • Medicare Preventive Services - new in 2012!   a "Welcome to Medicare" Physical Exam; Ultrasound Screening for Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm; Cardiovascular Screening Blood Tests; Diabetes Screening Tests, Supplies, Self-Management Training, Medical Nutrition Therapy, and Other Medicare-Covered Services for People with Diabetes; Screening Mammography; Screening Pap Tests; Screening Pelvic Examination; Colorectal Cancer Screening; Prostate Cancer Screening; Influenza, Pneumococcal, and Hepatitis B Vaccinations; Bone Mass Measurements; Glaucoma Screening; Smoking and Tobacco-Use Cessation Counseling Services
  • Medicare Preventive Services Checklist

My medicare.gov is a secure online service for accessing your personal Medicare information. You can use MyMedicare.gov to:

  • View claim status (excluding Part D claims)
  • Order a duplicate Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) or replacement Medicare card
  • View eligibility, entitlement and preventive services information
  • View enrollment information including prescription drug plans
  • View or modify your drug list and pharmacy information
  • View address of record with Medicare and Part B deductible status
  • Access online forms, publications and messages sent to you by CMS

Go to www.mymedicare.gov to sign up

The handbook Medicare & You for 2014 is available at http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf . Includes information about how you can get the most out of your Medicare, including Medicare health and prescription drug plan choices and coverage, how to protect yourself and Medicare from fraud, background on advance directives, and resources for detailed information and personalized help. If you have any questions, or need local information that this on-line resource does not include (printed version you received in the mail may have local info), just call HIICAP at 858-7883.

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Medicare HMOs (Health Maintenance Organizations)

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Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Insurance

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Medicaid

  • Medicaid is a joint federal and state government program that provides health assistance for persons who are blind, disabled, or 65 or older who have low income and resources; or persons under 65 who meet social services' home relief rules
  • Programs to assist individuals/couples in paying for Medicare premiums: QMB (Qualified Medicare Beneficiary) SLMB (Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary Program) QI-1 (Qualified Individual-1)
  • To enroll, call the Erie County Department of Senior Services at 716-858-7883
  • For further information, visit the following websites:
    http://www.health.state.ny.us
    http://www.aarp.org
  • Benefit Checklist
  • Are You Eligible for Extra Help or Medicare Savings Plans?  Guidelines

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Long-Term Care Insurance

  • Wouldn't it be nice to have control of your financial future? Planning ahead with long-term care insurance secures the care you need and your peace of mind. Long-term care insurance keeps you in control of your life by financing the quality care you need when you need it. Long-Term Care insurance allows you to determine the level of care you need, while helping you avoid financial hardship and signing over your life's savings to qualify for Medicaid. Erie County Senior Services' Health Insurance Information Counseling and Assistance Program also functions as a Long-Term Care Insurance Education and Outreach Resource Center to answer your questions about long-term care insurance. We DO NOT SELL insurance policies, nor recommend any one insurance company - we do offer information and assistance - Call (716) 858-7883, or go to http://www2.erie.gov/seniorservices/index.php?q=long-term-care-insurance.

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Employer-Sponsored Retiree Health Plans

  • Not available to many retirees (only about one-third of the Medicare-eligible population has employer-paid coverage after retirement)
  • Plan may cover some or many of the costs Medicare does not
  • Constant changes make it necessary to re-evaluate your retiree plan's cost benefits annually
  • For further information, call or visit your company's Employee Benefit office

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Veterans' Health Benefits

  • For information on veterans' health benefits and services, call the VA Health Benefits Service Center toll free at 1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387) or visit their website at http://www.va.gov/
  • TRICARE for Life Program for military retirees who have served at least 20 years. Must be registered with Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). For information on DEERS, call toll free at 1-800-538-9552
  • TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program extends the same prescription drug coverage for those active and retired military under 65 to those 65 and older and those with Medicare.
  • For information on the TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program, call toll free at 1-877-DOD-MEDS (1-877-363-6337).
  • For general information on TRICARE for Life, call toll free at 1-888-DOD-LIFE (1-888-363-5433). Information on DEERS, TRICARE for Life and TRICARE Senior Pharmacy Program can also be obtained by visiting the TRICARE website at http://www.tricare.osd.mil

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Programs for the Uninsured

To obtain information and an application, call the Erie County Department of Senior Services at 716-858-7883 or call toll free at 1-877-9FHPLUS (1-877-934-7587). Information can also be obtained by visiting the New York State Department of Health website at http://www.health.state.ny.us.

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