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Willapa Harbor Herald
Lewis County News
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(360) 942-3466 • PO Box 706, Raymond, WA 98577

Saving Money

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Speaking of maybe saving some money...

I was talking with one of our SHIBA (Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors) people the other day and he mentioned a renewed interest in our communities about a program that can actually reduce some premium costs.

And though we've talked about this in this space before, as long as the information might be new to someone, we will journey on.

I guess at this point, I should actually mention what we're talking about: Medicare Savings Plans (MSP).

MSP's are in place to help financially eligible people offset the costs of their Medicare plans, like premiums, co-pays, etc. There are different subsets that assist with different parts of Medicare, and if you like to collect acronyms, we can send you the information.

I think it's enough to know that, depending on the program, premiums for Medicare Part A, Part B, and co-pays may be reduced or paid. And with the Part B (outpatient, clinics, etc) premium at $134/month it can let some money stay in your pocket. Sounds good to me.

Let's look at some details before moving on. You may hear someone mention that this is a Medicaid program, and that Medicaid sometimes involves a payback system called estate recovery. Estate recovery is NOT applied the MSP's, so if you hear something to that effect, let it slide by.

Currently, the income and assets standards are :

· Single Person: Less than $1357/month with assets less than $7390

· Couple: $1827/month with assets less than $11090

Another possible bonus is that if you qualify for certain of these programs, you also qualify for a Low Income Subsidy/Extra Help which could reduce your Part D (prescriptions) costs.

More detail can be found at and doing a search for Medicare Savings Programs, or you contact any of the numbers at the end of the column and we can mail you a flyer with the relevant information. (The flyer will also have the acronyms for the aforementioned collectors of such information.)

Ready to save some money? Cool--go for it! Again--it sounds good to me.

Information & Assistance

Long Beach: 642 3634/888 571 6558

Raymond: 942 2177/888 571 6557

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