WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The National Council on Aging (NCOA) today thanked Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) for championing legislation that is helping hundreds of thousands of low-income people with Medicare get financial assistance to make their health care more affordable.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA) provides over $23 million in FY 2014 to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, Area Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and the National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment for activities that help vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries with limited incomes receive extra help paying for Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayments. Less than half of those eligible for this assistance actually receive it. ATRA passed in January this year; however, states received their funding notices this past week for work beginning Oct. 1.
The legislation extends work started in 2008, which already has helped over half a million low-income seniors and adults with disabilities save over $1.9 billion on their prescription and health care costs, including $30 million in savings for Montana seniors. Funding for outreach and enrollment activities expired last year, and Senator Baucus—along with Senators Casey (D-PA) and Rockefeller (D-WV)—was a key leader in getting it extended.
“Receiving available assistance can mean thousands of dollars in savings for seniors who are struggling to make ends meet each month,” said Leslie Fried, director of NCOA’s National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment. “We applaud Senator Baucus for his leadership in helping America’s seniors in greatest need.”
The National Council on Aging is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, DC. NCOA is a national voice for millions of older adults—especially those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged—and the community organizations that serve them. It brings together nonprofit organizations, businesses, and government to develop creative solutions that improve the lives of all older adults. NCOA works with thousands of organizations across the country to help seniors find jobs and benefits, improve their health, live independently, and remain active in their communities. For more information, please visit: www.ncoa.org | www.facebook.com/NCOAging | www.twitter.com/NCOAging