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    Wednesday, January 13, 2010

    New SSA Campaign for Extra Help with Drug Costs

    On 08 January, Michael J. Astrue, Commissioner of Social Security, and Chubby Checker, Grammy Award winner, announced a new campaign about a “twist” in the law that makes it easier to qualify for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs.

    Commissioner Astrue said, “The changes in the Medicare law that take effect this month will allow hundreds of thousands of Americans who are struggling to pay their prescription drug costs to get Extra Help during these tough economic times.” Rock and roll legend Checker’s promotion says, “Listen up, America! For 50 years, people of all ages and backgrounds have danced the Twist. “Now it’s important everyone learn about this new twist in the law…”

    The Extra Help program provides assistance to more than 9 million seniors and people with disabilities, helping them save an average of about $4,000 a year on Medicare prescription drug plan costs.

    To qualify , people must meet certain resource and income limits, but the new Medicare law eases those requirements in two ways: (1) It eliminates the cash value of life insurance from counting as a resource; (2) It eliminates the assistance people receive from others to pay for household expenses, such as food, rent, mortgage or utilities, from counting as income.

    To learn more about the Extra Help program and to view the promotion featuring Chubby Checker, go to http://www.ssa.gov/prescriptionhelp/ OR http://www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp

    10 comments:

    ANGELA said...

    Oh wow, that's really good. I'm definitely going to inform my grandfather about this! Its good to know that there is going to be assistance in paying for prescription drugs for the low income families. Sometimes its too difficult to even pay one of these prescription drugs. It will be a great asset for the people with disabilities, chronic pain, or the elderly needing to take multiple medications daily.

    Anonymous said...

    I think they could have marketed this differently. I can see the connection between Chubby Checker and the twist but not much else. He is probably around the same age as those who receive Social Security. I think the law is great though because I will help so many people that need it. I did disagree with the idea that Social Security counted cash value of life insurance and assistance as income because I do not believe that it should be. The reason I state this is because we all know that life insurance is really death insurance and is meant to help the family of one that has died and there is more of a chance that a person will hold on to this instead of cashing it in. Now if the person were to cash that in them it should make them ineligible for assistance but only until that income is gone. These people are usually struggling financially and gifts or assistance should not be counted as income either so I am glad that the law has “twisted” to excluding these items.
    James D.

    Anonymous said...

    James, I do agree the marketing is a bit questionable. For many senior citizens, these tough times are a stark contrast to the upbeat and carefree lyrics of The Twist.

    My father is a disabled senior citizen who takes several medications. In the past, I have frequently heard him worry about his out of pocket expenses for medications. However, I was unaware that he had stopped taking his pain medication because he could not afford it. I am relieved to read that the contributions made by family members, to help pay for his expenses, will not affect his eligibility. I am also pleased to read that the Extra Help program will help pay for Medicaid Plan B premiums.

    B. Ramirez

    Anonymous said...

    I agree with you James D., I honestly don't see any connection between Chubby Checker and the new form of aid available to the many who benefit from Medicare. I definately think there should have been a better form of marketing in order to provide this information to the general public. It is important to take into consideration the country's cultural diversity and make sure this information reaches all the beneficiaries. If this is a great benefit for so many people it is essential that it reaches them.

    A.Huerta

    Cris Gonzalez said...

    This is a great thing and I hope that those in need find out about this. This was a long time coming and I do not understand why these things take so long. It is funny how we can bail out theses big companies that give big bonuses to their CEO's but we take forever to get something like this passed. I am so happy and I need to let everyone know who meets the criteria. There are so many who are struggling and need this help.

    Claudia Lucio said...

    WOW!!!!
    It is a good thing that the government is helping person who are struggling to get their medication by lowering the prices. I know that it is very difficult with all the economic status that we are all living this days is not easy. This is going to come to an advantage for persons who have no medical insurance as well as, for persons who are on a limited budget like person’s who are disable, or are retired and receive a monthly check. As it is the check only pays for bills and little food and are very limited. I am thankful for that because my aunt is now saving more money and are able to buy other things that they might need. Well at least for the tough times hopefully it will extend more time because here in the US medicine is more pricy.

    Claudia Lucio said...

    WOW!!!!
    It is a good thing that the government is helping person who are struggling to get their medication by lowering the prices. I know that it is very difficult with all the economic status that we are all living this days is not easy. This is going to come to an advantage for persons who have no medical insurance as well as, for persons who are on a limited budget like person’s who are disable, or are retired and receive a monthly check. As it is the check only pays for bills and little food and are very limited. I am thankful for that because my aunt is now saving more money and are able to buy other things that they might need. Well at least for the tough times hopefully it will extend more time because here in the US medicine is more pricy.

    sukania said...

    This is a great way to change the accessibility of Medicare, there are so many people who can desperately use this assistance especially in the current economic climate. Seemingly small changes like these are the sort of thing that can change so many people‘s lives for the better. Something has to be said about the choice to use Chubby Checker as the median for this information. At first I was dumbfounded, then I realized that I am not in the targeted demographic for the information, so I suppose I will rescind my initial reaction towards the application of Mr. Checker. The elimination of the cash value of life insurance is a wonderful part of the twist, this will help many people afford the medicine to keep them alive, while retaining the security for those they love in case that they pass away.
    -Sukania Mendez

    Cassandra Garza said...

    The cost of prescription medications are a problem for people in every age group. The elderly are affected in the way that they are limited in the amount of income they can receive in order to still qualify for social security benefits. When people need expensive medications and they have a very limited income the government should step in and provide some form of relief. I think it's good that they have a celebrity, Chubby Checker, promoting the campaign and its good that they chose to use someone who is more relatable to the older generation. I did not know that they considered life insurance policies as "income." I find this particularly disturbing because the point in life insurance policies is that your family will have money to cover the expenses of your funeral so how could their policies be included as income if the money is received after they have passed away? I'm glad that this will not included in determining if they can qualify for extra help with precription drugs.

    Anonymous said...

    I think that having extra help with drug cost is a a big help because many people don't have the expensives to buy their medication or have enough to buy ohter medicaiton that they need.Many people need their medication everyday sometimes twice a day and it can be expensive and then to worry how are going to get more. My parents will really be happy to hear about this. Medication are expensive, even the generic kind. I glad that they are helping out
    Nora