PA Medicare Education and Decision Insight (PA MEDI) program, formerly known as APPRISE, is the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Pennsylvanians. PA MEDI Health Insurance Counselors help older Pennsylvanians understand their health insurance options under Medicare, long term care insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare Managed Care Programs, and other health insurance and public benefit programs. Aging is becoming increasingly complex, and living in a fast-paced society is not easy! Through the Union-Snyder Agency on Aging’s PA MEDI program, trained staff and volunteers can provide Counseling, Education and Outreach to assist you with your insurance-related needs!
ABCs of Medicare
Medicare is health insurance run by the Federal government for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age with End-Stage Renal Disease. The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services. Medicare Part A is hospital insurance, Medicare B is medical insurance, and Medicare D is prescription drug coverage. Medicare A covers inpatient care while in a hospital, after a deductible is paid. Medicare B covers 80% of doctor services, outpatient care and some preventive services, after an annual deductible is paid.
To get help covering the costs that Medicare does not cover, Medicare gives you the option of choosing to use 1) Original Medicare along with a Medigap policy and a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan or 2) a Medicare Health Plan, also known as an advantage plan, which may or may not include a prescription drug plan. Medicare Health Plans combine your Medicare Part A and Part B coverage and often provide extra benefits. These plans include:
- Medicare Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plans
- Medicare Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Plans
To qualify for Medicare, a person needs to be 65 years of age or disabled for 25 months. There is no age limit for persons with End Stage Renal disease or with ALS.
Schedule an Appointment:
To schedule an appointment with a Union Snyder PA MEDI counselor, please contact the Agency directly at 570-524-2100 or 570-374-5558. Phone appointments are also available.
New to Medicare?
USAA PA MEDI provides ongoing community programs for those who are new to Medicare. Please contact the office for available educational opportunities.
EXTRA Help can help lower your prescription co-payments and premiums and cover the cost of the coverage gap (Donut Hole). To qualify, you must meet income and resource guidelines.
Medicare Savings Program (Buy-in) can help you with the payment of your Part B premium and possibly with the payment of your Medicare Part A and Part B cost-sharing. To qualify, you must meet income and resource guidelines.
PACE and PACENET:
Other Programs (Information & Assistance)
Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program:
Older Pennsylvanians may qualify for a standard rebate of up to $650. The amount of the rebate payments varies according to an individual’s income and the amount of rent or property taxes they paid. The program is funded by the Pennsylvania Lottery.
Applications for rebates must be filed with the Department of Revenue between January 1 and June 30 every year. The application forms and instructions may be obtained at the Union-Snyder Agency on Aging, Inc., your local State Representative’s Office or on the PA Dept of Revenue’s website.
To qualify you must be aged 65 or older, a resident of Pennsylvania, have an annual income that does not exceed $15,000 (only 50% of your income from social security or railroad retirement benefits counts) and you must have paid rent or property taxes (even those who live in facilities or subsidized housing can qualify for the rebates.) The income limit for home owners is $35,000.
Should you need assistance completing the forms, the staff at the Union-Snyder Agency on Aging, Inc. is available to help.
Reduced PA Driver Registration Fee:
Retired residents of Pennsylvania may be eligible to register their automobile for a $10 fee instead of the usual $36. Any Pennsylvania resident who is retired and receiving social security or other pension and annuities that do not exceed $19,200 annually is eligible.
LIHEAP (Fuel Assistance):
The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, also known as LIHEAP, helps low-income families pay their heating bills. LIHEAP is a grant that offers assistance in the form of a cash grant, sent directly to the utility company, or a crisis grant for households in immediate danger of being without heat.
SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities. SNAP is the largest program in the domestic hunger safety net. The Food and Nutrition Service works with State agencies, nutrition educators, and neighborhood and faith-based organizations to ensure that those eligible for nutrition assistance can make informed decisions about applying for the program and can access benefits. FNS also works with State partners and the retail community to improve program administration and ensure program integrity.
Consumer can apply for this program online via the COMPASS application.
Produce Vouchers or SFMNP Program:
The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) awards grants to States, U.S. Territories, and federally recognized Indian tribal governments to provide low-income seniors with coupons that can be exchanged for eligible foods (fruits, vegetables, honey, and fresh-cut herbs) at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and community-supported agriculture programs. This program typically runs from June to September.
The Office for Veterans Affairs (VA) provides services and assistance to veterans and their families. Programs include, but are not limited to:
- Disabled Veterans Real Estate Tax Exemption
- Veterans Emergency Assistance
- Educational Gratuity
- Blind Veterans Pension
- Paralyzed Veterans Pension
- Persian Gulf Conflict Veterans Benefit Act
- State Veterans Homes
For more information on all available programs, please visit Office of Veteran’s Affairs website.
For information on these, or other programs that may be available to you, contact the Union-Snyder Agency on Aging at 570-524-2100 or 570-374-5558.