Commissioner of Social Security, Michael J. Astrue, and the Grammy Award winning rock and roll legend, Chubby Checkers, launched a campaign to inform Americans about a new "twist" on qualifying for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs. The extra help program currently provides assistance to more than nine million senior and disabled Americans, saving individuals on average almost $4,000 a year on Medicare prescription drug plan costs.
"The changes in the Medicare law that take effect this month will allow hundreds of thousands of Americans who are struggling to pay their prescription drug costs to get extra help during these tough economic times," said Commissioner Astrue. "I am thrilled that Chubby Checker has volunteered to help us spread this important message through a new television, radio, and Internet spot as well as pamphlets and posters."
"Listen up, America! For 50 years, people of all ages and backgrounds have danced the Twist," Chubby Checker said. "Now it's important everyone learn about this new twist in the law. Check it out at http://www.socialsecurity.gov/
To qualify for extra help, individuals must meet certain resource and income limits. The new Medicare law lowers those requirements by eliminating the cash value of life insurance from counting as a resource and eliminating the assistance people receive from others to pay for household expenses, such as food, rent, mortgage or utilities, from counting as income. In addition, the application for extra help may initiate the application process for Medicare Savings Programs, which are state programs to provide help with other Medicare costs (such as Medicare Part B, medical insurance premiums). In certain cases, the Medicare Savings Programs also may pay Medicare Part A (hospital insurance premiums), and Part A and B deductibles and co-payments.
To learn more about the extra help program, access the easy-to-use application, and to view the new TV spot featuring Chubby Checker, go to http://socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp