Elderbridge to add new services

The National Council on Aging recently announced that Elderbridge Agency on Aging is being awarded a grant to develop Benefits Enrollment Centers to help low-income Medicare beneficiaries access and apply for programs that pay for prescriptions, healthcare, food and more.

Elderbridge will partner with Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging and County Social Services, a mental health and disability regional agency, to serve a combined target area of 47 counties. Those counties comprise approximately the northern half of Iowa.

Along with its partners, Elderbridge will use the existing LifeLong Links communications infrastructure to provide consumers with information and access to supportive services that are the focus of the Benefits Enrollment Center grant.

Nationally, 50 percent of all people with Medicare live on incomes less than $26,000 and they often lack the resources needed to meet basic living expenses.

Federal, state, and local programs exist to help these individuals, but many people do not know how to apply for assistance.

“Elderbridge Agency on Aging has a strong history of helping vulnerable residents in its service area of northwest, north central and central Iowa,” said Donell Doering. “We’re proud to be part of this national network of organizations that, since 2009, has helped more than 850,000 low-income older adults and younger adults with disabilities achieve economic stability.”

The grant will focus on providing these five core benefits to eligible low-income Medicare beneficiaries:

• Medicare Part D Extra help/Low Income Subsidy program

• Medicare Savings Program

• Medicaid

• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

• Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program

Elderbridge is one of 69 Benefits Enrollment Centers funded by NCOA to serve low-income Medicare beneficiaries in 36 states.

BECs are supported by funding from the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, administered through the U.S. Administration for Community Living.

To access the assistance available through this grant program, call the LifeLong Links Call Center at 866-468-7887 or Elderbridge at 800-243-0678.

For more information contact Doug Merbach, Elderbridge Public Relations Coordinator at 800-243-0678 or dmerbach@elderbridge.org.