Key Takeaways

  • Several core benefits can help low-income Medicare beneficiaries afford their healthcare, food, and prescriptions.

  • Programs like Extra Help, the Medicare Savings Programs, and Medicaid can also help pay for the costs of Medicare.

  • Learn the basics about how these benefits programs' eligibility and funding work in our cheat sheet.

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for older Americans. Medicare plans change every year, and it's important for older adults to make sure they're enrolled in a plan that best fits their needs, including understanding the programs available that can help Medicare beneficiaries afford their healthcare, food, and prescriptions.

This Core Benefits "Cheat Sheet" helps explain the way benefits for low-income people with Medicare are administered, and how basic eligibility is determined.

The charts explore which agencies (federal or state) fund the benefit and set eligibility criteria, and how the programs are delivered. Because some states set their own guidelines for programs, benefits counselors are encouraged to contact their state agency for specific guidance.

Benefits covered include:

This cheat sheet is updated annually following release of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.