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Fact Sheet
November 2013

Helping Low-Income People with Medicare Pay for Their Health Care

Medicare provides health coverage for 41 million older Americans and 9 million non-elderly Americans with disabilities. But the monthly and out-of-pocket costs can be a burden for low-income people, and traditional Medicare doesn’t cover services that many people need, such as dental, vision, or hearing services.

Learn more about why low-income people with Medicare struggle to pay for their health care. For example, 50 percent of people with Medicare had incomes below $22,500 in 2012. Since more than two-thirds of beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions, it is a major challenge for these individuals to afford their health care costs.

Low-income assistance programs, including Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, and the prescription drug low-income subsidy, can help low-income people with Medicare afford the health care they need. But these programs still need improvements.

Find out more about the eligibility criteria for these low-income assistance programs with the help of an at-a-glance chart, and learn more about three solutions that would help Medicare beneficiaries pay for the health care they need."