AAA to enroll seniors in program helping with costs
of Medicare prescription drug premiums, co-payments

The Harris County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) has obtained two grants totaling more than $29,000 to enroll low-income seniors in a program that helps pay Medicare Part D prescription drug premiums and co-payments.

AAA benefits counselors staffing a telephone bank are now helping seniors understand the Social Security Administration’s Low Income Subsidy program and complete the application. Counselors are able to assist seniors step-by-step through the application process and file the application online with the Social Security Administration.

The program helps Medicare beneficiaries with 85 percent to 100 percent of prescription drug expenses. It is designed for Medicare beneficiaries whose income prevents them from qualifying for Medicaid but who still can not afford prescription drugs on their own. 

Benefits begin the following month after enrollment. AAA, a division of the Houston Department of Health and Human Services, will seek to enroll at least 300 seniors by mid-November.

Eligibility criteria include a total monthly income of less than $1,196.25 per month for a single beneficiary or $1,603.75 per month if married or living with a spouse. Resources must also be less than $11,500 for a single beneficiary or $23,000 for a married couple. Resources include savings and stocks, but not a home or a car.

AAA received a $19,624 grant from the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and a $10,000 grant from the National Council on the Aging Access to Benefits Coalition for the enrollment initiative.

AAA plans, contracts and provides direct services for seniors age 60 or older throughout Harris County. Services AAA offers include nutrition services consisting of meals delivered either directly to homebound seniors or to 43 congregate sites, transportation, legal assistance, preventive health services, instruction and training, ombudsman services and in-home support encompassing personal care and homemaker and respite assistance for frail seniors.

For more information or to enroll in the program, call 713-794-9001.

This news release was issued on August 17, 2006.