NC Medicare Expert

NC Medicare Supplement and Medigap Rates

Month: October 2017

Are There Programs to Make Prescription Drugs More Affordable for Seniors?

Prescription drugs are essential to older adults and individuals with disabilities because they help them control chronic conditions, treat temporary conditions, and improve their overall long-term health. Since prescription medications are often very costly, there are programs available to make them more affordable for seniors.

If you have Blue Medicare HMO by BCBSNC, you may qualify for assistance in paying for your prescription drugs. Here’s a brief overview of the programs that may help you out:

“Extra Help” From Medicare

If you are living on a limited income, you may qualify for “Extra Help” to pay for your prescription drug costs. In the event that you qualify, Medicare could pay for up to 75% or more of your drug costs. These drug costs include coinsurance, monthly prescription premiums, and annual deductibles. Since many Medicare beneficiaries are eligible and do not even realize it, you should call one of the following numbers to find out if you qualify:

  • 1-800-MEDICARE
  • The Social Security Office: 1-800-772-1213
  • The North Carolina Medicaid Office

Prescription Cost-Sharing Assistance for Individuals with HIV/AIDs

The AIDS Drug Assistance Program or ADAP is designed to ensure that ADAP-eligible individuals with HIV/AIDS have access to HIV medications that can save their life. In order to be ADAP eligible, you must prove that you are a resident of North Carolina and are living with HIV, have low-income as defined by North Carolina, and meet the uninsured or underinsured status. In addition, Medicare Part D prescriptions that are covered by ADAP qualify for prescription cost-sharing assistance.

If you’d like more information on the eligibility criteria for prescription cost-sharing assistance or would like to enroll in the program, you should call the North Carolina AIDS Drug Assistance Program at 1-877-466-2232 or visit

Contact The MAIR Agency

For more details on these programs and how you can save money on your prescription drugs, do not hesitate to contact The MAIR Agency today.

Free Local Health Insurance Counseling to Seniors with Blue Medicare HMO BY BCBSNC

The purpose of the State Health Insurance Assistance Program or SHIP is to provide Medicare beneficiaries with enrollment assistance, information, and counseling. SHIP counselors are volunteers who have undergone training and earned special certifications to help anyone with Medicare take full advantage of their benefits.

In North Carolina, the SHIP is called Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program or SHIIP. It is a state program that’s funded by the federal government and provides individuals with Medicare health insurance counseling at no cost. It also creates and distributes educational materials such as the Medicare Supplement Comparison Guide that can be very useful for Medicare beneficiaries. In addition, SHIIP holds free public events throughout North Carolina to assist Medicare beneficiaries in getting the most out of their benefits.

SHIIP was founded in 1986 by the Department of Insurance in direct response to the growing number of health insurance related concerns for more than one million Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina. This program provides Medicare beneficiaries with an objective information service and helps them navigate the complexities of the Medicare system.

Since its inception, it has served as a role model for other states and earned two national awards for its “innovative” and “exemplary” service. In 2016, SHIIP was able to save beneficiaries over $44.3 million dollars in North Carolina.

To contact SHIIP, you can call 855-408-1212, email ncshiip@ncdoigov, or visit Trained SHIIP counselors will be available in all of the 100 counties in North Carolina. In the event that your question or issue is too complex to handle over the phone or email, you can set up an in person appointment with a SHIIP counselor.

Contact The MAIR Agency

If you’d like more information on the SHIIP program and how it can help you make the most out of your Blue Medicare HMO by BCBSNC, you should contact The MAIR Agency today.

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