Medicare, Medicaid and Medigap


Benefits for Your Retirement Years

Medicare is a two-part program underwritten by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that provides basic hospitalization and medical coverage for people age 65 and over, and also serves people under the age of 65 with certain disabilities. For example, if you have permanent kidney failure that is being treated with dialysis or a transplant, or have been receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement disability checks for at least 24 months, you are eligible for Medicare, even if you’re under age 65. Medicare Part A provides automatic hospital coverage as long as you have worked at least 10 years in a Medicare covered employment. Part B membership helps cover medical and doctor’s bills, and helps pay for rental or purchase of necessary medical equipment such as prostheses, wheelchairs and post-surgical supplies. Although Part A is free of charge, Part B is considered elective coverage and currently requires a $45.50 monthly contribution from you (you may be eligible to get help from the state paying this premium). There are also several health care options available to all Medicare beneficiaries which come under the label of Medicare + Choice.

Most people receive a Medicare Enrollment Package just prior to reaching their 65th birthday. At that point, recipients may choose whether or not to opt for Medicare Part B benefits and pay the required premiums for that coverage. If you have reached the age of 65 and have NOT received a Medicare Enrollment Package, you should call your local Social Security Office in order to determine your eligibility. Or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.


Benefits for Low-Income Households

Medicaid is a joint federal and state program usually operated by state social services or health departments and designed to furnish several basic services to low-income individuals. These typically include inpatient and outpatient hospital care, physicians’ services, nursing home care and laboratory and x-ray services. For individuals in financial hardship, Medicaid may also be used to pay Medicare premiums, deductibles and coinsurance.


Benefits that take over where Medicare leaves off

MediGap refers to one of several supplemental health insurance policies that can be purchased to cover the costs Medicare often doesn’t cover, such as prescription drugs, dental care, hearing aids or eyeglasses.

Additional Entitlements

Elderly Prescription Insurance Coverage (EPIC)

This New York State funded program was designed to provide needed benefits in those areas not covered by Medicare and for whose individuals whose income levels would make it difficult for them to obtain these prescription medications on their own. EPIC is currently limited to New York residents age 65 and over with an annual income of less than $35,000 (or less than $50,000 for married applicants).

Also available are the New York State’s Home Energy & Assistance Program (HEAP) and the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption Program (SCRIE).

Star Bronx
Star Brooklyn
Star Manhattan
Star Nassau
Star Queens & Rockaway
Star Staten Island
House icon 1414 Utica Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11203
Phone icon PH:           (718)-282-7619
Fax:          (718)-282-7314
Toll Free: 1-(800)-752-1821
Email icon