NJ Human Services Awards Grants to Raise Public Awareness of Cost-Saving Programs Available to Medicare Beneficiaries

Nov. 10, 2022

 (TRENTON)With the Medicare open enrollment period underway, Human Services Commissioner Sarah Adelman today announced the Department has awarded $360,000 in grants to local social service agencies to promote and raise awareness about assistance available to low-income Medicare beneficiaries to help lower their premiums and prescription drug costs.

  The purpose of these grants is to increase the number of low-income Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey who know about and apply for Medicare Part D, the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS) – also known as “Extra Help” - and/or a Medicare Savings Program (MSP). The grantees will also work to increase awareness and use of free and reduced-cost preventive benefits covered by Medicare Part B.

“We know there are New Jerseyans on Medicare who are eligible for, but are not taking advantage of the savings provided by these programs. For older adults on fixed incomes, this assistance can make a huge difference. These agencies will help amplify information about these programs, and help people enroll so they can start saving,” said Commissioner Sarah Adelman.

More than 46,000 Medicare beneficiaries in New Jersey are eligible for, but not receiving, assistance through LIS and/or a MSP.

These grants are funded by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008. New Jersey has previously received and used MIPPA grant funding to help make Medicare more affordable for New Jersey residents. More than 33,000 applications (to cost-saving programs) have been generated through previous MIPPA grants.

“These grants have been effective in getting more people enrolled in these cost-saving programs, and we look forward to reaching even more individuals who are eligible, but have not applied and could really benefit from lower Medicare premiums and prescription drug costs,” said Deputy Commissioner for Aging and Disability Services Kaylee McGuire.

The department awarded $40,000 grants to the following Area Agencies on Aging/Aging and Disability Resource Connections (AAA/ADRCs) and/or State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) lead coordinating agencies to support this work in their respective counties:

  • AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP of Gloucester County/ Rowan College of South Jersey
  • Bergen County Division of Senior Services
  • Children’s Home Society of New Jersey (Mercer)
  • Family and Children’s Service of Monmouth County
  • Jewish Family Services of MetroWest New Jersey (Essex)
  • Salem County Office on Aging
  • Skylands RSVP Volunteer Resource Center/NORWESCAP (Morris)
  • Sussex County Division of Senior Services
  • Warren County Division of Aging and Disability Services

The organizations will develop and distribute materials and use paid advertisements and other promotional methods to raise awareness about these benefits to the target population. They will make presentations, host enrollment events, and provide training of LIS and MSPs to staff at partner agencies.  Most importantly, they will help individuals apply for these cost-saving programs using the NJSave online or paper application.  The NJSave application is also used to enroll eligible individuals in New Jersey’s Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (PAAD), Senior Gold, Lifeline and other state and federal programs that reduce living expenses.

“We understand that navigating the Medicare system can be overwhelming. These agencies will help people with their applications so they don’t miss out on these potential savings. I encourage all Medicare beneficiaries who could use some assistance to contact their local service agency and apply,” said Division of Aging Services Director Louise Rush.

The annual enrollment period for Medicare runs from October 15 to December 7. SHIP provides free help to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about their health insurance. Medicare beneficiaries can call 1-800-792-8820, or contact their local SHIP office to set up a virtual appointment.