If you have low income, you may be eligible for state assistance in paying your Medicare premiums and, in some cases, your Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You can check this government web page to learn about four types of Medicare Savings Programs.

If you are on Medicare and having trouble meeting the cost of medications, you may be eligible for help paying for your prescription drugs.  One possibility: If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for extra help through Social Security.  You can learn more here, or by calling 1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.

You can also call your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for free counseling to people with Medicare. In Ohio, call 1-800-686-1578. For contact information in other states, click here.  Or call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

If you’re not sure when you will be eligible fore Medicare, click here for an estimate of your eligibility and enrollment date, here’s a quick survey.  The Medicare Plan Finder can help you select options best for you.

Overall, according to the federal government’s website, Medicare is a health insurance program for the following:

  • People 65 or older
  • People under 65 with certain disabilities
  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

Different parts of Medicare cover different services:

  • Medicare Part A is hospital insurance
  • Part B is medical insurances, for doctor visits, for example, and home health care.
  • Part C is an option offering both hospital and medical insurance, and it works like an HMO or PPO.  Coverage is through private insurance companies approved by Medicare.  Costs and extra coverage vary by plan.
  • Part D is prescription drug coverage.

Because healthcare information changes rapidly, you should always verify information with your providers.