Programs can help seniors save on prescriptions

  • Posted: Monday, May 20, 2013 11:51 p.m.

SALISBURY — Do you wish you could save money on prescription drug costs? The local Social Security office and the Rowan County SHIIP program, based at the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center, may be able to help.

The Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) is a division of the N.C. Department of Insurance. Specially trained volunteer counselors spend about one hour per client, answering Medicare questions and enrolling clients in prescription drug or supplement plans.

SHIIP counselors can often save a substantial amount of money for consumers by helping newly eligible people switch to more economical prescription drug coverage during the Annual Enrollment Period.

There is no cost for SHIIP counseling, although the program accepts donations to help with expenses.

A Medicare beneficiary may be eligible for the federal Extra Help low-income subsidy program through Social Security, if the consumer has limited income and resources. The Extra Help program can pay for all or part of the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and providing low prescription copayments under a Medicare prescription drug plan. To qualify for Extra Help, the annual income must be limited to $16,755 for an individual or $22,695 for a married couple living together. Total resources must be limited to $13,300 for an individual or $26,580 for a married couple living together. (The resources do not include a primary residence or a vehicle.) People who may qualify for the Extra Help program can seek assistance at the local Social Security office, or to apply online at

For more information, call:

• The local Social Security office at 1-877-405-3157.

• The statewide SHIIP Help Line at 1-800-443-9354.

For appointments, call the Rowan County SHIIP office at 704-216-7703 or 7704.

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