Testimonials from the Field
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Testimonials from the Field

June 19, 2012

The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) has helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable seniors to access benefits. Here are just a few stories, in the words of the counselors that serve them, about how MIPPA has changed lives:


Recently I spoke with the daughter of a Medicare beneficiary. Her mother’s monthly gross Social Security income is $772. Mom could hardly afford to pay for food, much less co-pays and deductibles for drug insurances or medical visits. We were able to submit an application to the state for help with her Medicare Part B costs (the Medicare Savings Programs) and to submit an application (LIS/Extra Help) to Social Security for help with her medications. 

Mom was born in 1920 and we are only now able to help her. Her daughter cried with relief while we were on the phone. Mom also needed to apply for SNAP, and we were able to help her with that application as well.


I had a woman who wanted a personal response alert (Lifeline). She didn’t have any family who could have applied through the Family Caregiver Support Program. Although not frail enough to qualify for Homecare, she was frightened about living alone, without anyone checking in on her and felt the Lifeline would be a good safety item.  We helped her get MSP and with the extra income, she purchased her own Lifeline system, with some extra money to boot.


Sharon had been paying $225 a month for her insulin for the past two years, and was not enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan. We reviewed plans with her and showed her a 5-star plan for $39.70 a month; she decided to enroll even though she’d have to pay a penalty premium. Then we began to talk about LIS. I assisted her in applying online. Two weeks later, she called and said she’d received papers she didn’t understand. She came in and showed me the letter showing that she was entitled to full LIS. When I explained that her insulin would now only cost $6.50 a month, she couldn’t believe it. When she left, she was so happy. I have never seen anyone smile like that!


In February a consumer sent a note with best wishes to the MIPPA counselor in rural Northeastern Nevada, saying she appreciated her help changing her drug coverage. She stated that she is “saving quite a bit by changing plans, and wouldn’t have even tried” without the counselor’s help.

West Virginia

I had a daughter who lived in Maryland and whose parents lived in WV call our office to see if any assistance was available. Her parents had never enrolled in Part D and now their prescriptions cost between $400-$500 a month. After gathering income information, I helped them apply for LIS on March 6; 10 days later, they were awarded the full benefit. Now her mother pays only $2.60 a month for her medications, and her father pays $6.50 for his brand-name gout medications. The daughter said when she called our office it was the first time she felt there was HOPE in getting assistance for her parents.


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