There are many resources available to help people with limited incomes pay for their Medicare costs. In addition, Medicaid helps some people with limited income pay for their medical expenses. Other agencies may help pay for food, housing and utilities. Some helpful sites are:
Get help paying costs has helpful information on a number of different programs. Here you can find a phone number to speak to someone in your state about many different programs.
Benefits Checkup provides information about a number of programs to help people pay for Medicare, medicines, food and utilities.
Social Security Prescription Help has useful information on how Social Security may help pay for Medicare prescriptions. You can find out if you qualify for this extra help and apply online with the online application.
Eldercare is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging, connecting you to services for older adults and their families.
Your local congressman or U.S. senator's office may give you additional information and help with unusual situations. In 2012 I had a patient who had Medicare and another insurance through work. She had $150,000 in medical bills. Medicare said the work insurance was responsible for payment, while the work insurance said that Medicare was supposed to pay the bills. Neither paid and she was getting multiple calls from collection agencies. This went on for over a year. Her insurance from work eventually paid her medical bills, but only after she was helped by her local congressman's office.
Ebenefits is a website where veterans can apply for benefits from the VA system. In September 2013 the Ebenefits website said that a benefit claim would be processed in 113 days if submitted on the website but would take 374 days if the claim is submitted on paper.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provides assistance in buying food for eligible people with lower incomes. You can apply online or call the office in your state for information. Before applying you may want to use an online screening tool to see if you will be eligible for this program.
WIC (Women, Infants and Children) provides temporary support for buying food for young children, as well as pregnant and breast feeding women.