Over 500,000 people with Medicare saved $1.2 billion in past decade

Arlington, VA (Dec. 17, 2018) – Twenty-five new organizations have joined the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) national network of Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs), providing personalized assistance to low-income Medicare beneficiaries who want to access programs that help pay for health care, prescriptions, food, utilities, and more. The organizations will receive grants to create or expand coordinated, community-wide systems to enroll older adults and individuals with disabilities into benefits programs that stretch their monthly budgets. Several of the new BEC grantees will focus on reaching individuals who have historically been under-enrolled in benefits and may face unique challenges to accessing services. They will pilot innovative approaches, including:
  • Using promotoras (community health workers) to better reach Spanish-speaking Medicare beneficiaries;
  • Bundling benefits application assistance with case management services offered to residents of senior public housing; and
  • Integrating benefits enrollment into an intervention addressing the social and behavioral determinants of health to enable older adults to age in place.
“We are pleased to support strategies to not only reach more diverse communities, but also build benefits into a broader framework of improving health and financial well-being,” said Leslie Fried, Senior Director of the NCOA Center for Benefits Access, which oversees the grant. “This is a significant expansion of our network and ensures that seniors in these areas can get the support they want from people in their communities.” The newest BECs are:
  • Alamo Area Council of Governments (San Antonio, TX)
  • Blount County Community Action Agency (Maryville, TN)
  • CAPI USA (Brooklyn Center, MN)
  • Catholic Charities Hawaii (Honolulu, HI)
  • Colorado Nonprofit Development Center dba Benefits in Action (Lakewood, CO)
  • Community Health Clinics Inc., Terry Riley Health Services (Nampa, ID)
  • Council on Aging for Southeastern Vermont dba Senior Solutions (Springfield, VT)
  • East Valley Adults Resources, Inc. (Mesa, AZ)
  • Erie Department of Senior Services (Buffalo, NY)
  • Family Eldercare (Austin, TX)
  • Howard Brown Health (Chicago, IL)
  • Kenosha County Aging and Disability Resource Center (Kenosha, WI)
  • Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (Knoxville, TN)
  • The Latino Health Insurance Program, Inc. (Framingham, MA)
  • LTSC Community Development Corporation (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Missouri Department of Insurance/CLAIM (Jefferson City, MO)
  • National Church Residences (Columbus, OH)
  • North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (Oxford, MS)
  • Northwest Senior and Disability Services (Salem, OR)
  • Northwest Side Housing (Chicago, IL)
  • Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs (Cranston, RI)
  • Senior Citizens Greater Dallas, Inc., dba The Senior Source (Dallas, TX)
  • Senior Connections, The Capital Area Agency on Aging (Richmond, VA)
  • Steuben County Office for the Aging (Bath, NY)
  • United Way of Monmouth and Ocean Counties (Farmingdale, NJ)
BECs are funded through the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), administered at the federal level by the U.S. Administration for Community Living. NCOA’s Center for Benefits Access has served as the MIPPA Resource Center for the past 10 years. “These important community-based organizations have assisted more than 500,000 seniors and younger adults with disabilities to increase their monthly budgets more than $1.2 billion since their inception in 2009. That’s nearly 140 lives impacted every day,” said Fried. “At NCOA, we believe every person deserves to age well, and for a growing number of people, that means accessing benefit programs to make ends meet. We are excited to be able to find good partners to help grow our network to improve lives and communities at the same time.” The BEC network now totals 87 diverse organizations serving Medicare beneficiaries in 43 states. To find out more about their work, visit ncoa.org/becs.