The Center for Benefits Access funds 35 Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) around the country to help low-income people with Medicare access programs that pay for healthcare, food, and more. Using web-based tools and person-centered approaches, the BECs help low-income seniors and persons with disabilities find and enroll in all the benefits programs for which they are eligible, and create coordinated, community-wide systems of benefits access.
Core benefits for people with Medicare
The BECs focus on connecting Medicare beneficiaries with limited incomes to these core benefits:
- Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS)
- Medicare Savings Programs
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as Food Stamps)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
BECs also help seniors and younger adults with disabilities to apply for other programs, such as Supplemental Security Income, State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs, local transportation assistance, tax relief, and more.
Funding for BECs
BECs are supported with funding from the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), administered through the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL). The Center for Benefits Access has supported the creation of BECs since 2009.
NEW! Apply to become a BEC in 2016
The Center for Benefits is seeking proposals from qualified state and community-based organizations to apply to become new BECs, starting work in 2016. Up to 8 grants of $100,000 each will be awarded to applicants who can assist low-income Medicare beneficiaries in applying for all the benefits for which they appear eligible.
Read FAQs about applying to become a BEC.
Meet the BECs
The following are current Benefits Enrollment Center grantees:
- Adelante Development Center, Inc. (Albuquerque, NM)
- Adult Well-Being Services (Detroit, MI)
- AgeOptions (Oak Park, IL)
- Banner Olive Branch Senior Center (Sun City, AZ)
- Benefits Data Trust (Philadelphia, PA and MD)
- Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (New York, NY)
- Centura Health LINKS (Denver, CO)
- Chinese Community Center (Houston, TX)
- Chinese Information and Service Center (Seattle, WA)
- Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (Pittsburg, KS)
- Council on Aging (HICAP) of Orange County (Santa Ana, CA)
- Duke University (Durham, NC)
- Elder Law of Michigan (Lansing, MI)
- ElderSource (Jacksonville, FL)
- Georgia Legal Services Program (Atlanta, GA)
- Green River Area Development District (Owensboro, KY)
- Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) for the County of Ventura Area Agency on Aging (Ventura, CA)
- HOPES Community Action Partnership, Inc. (Hoboken, NJ)
- Isabella Geriatric Center (New York, NY)
- Jewish Family Service of Atlantic County (Margate, NJ)
- Korean American Community Services (Chicago, IL)
- Korean Community Service Center of Greater Washington (Annandale, VA)
- Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (Lexington, KY)
- Legal Aid of North Carolina (Asheville, NC)
- Legal Services for the Elderly (Augusta, ME)
- Live On New York (New York, NY)
- Missouri Alliance of Area Agencies on Aging (Jefferson City, MO)
- Montana Department of Health and Human Services (Helena, MT)
- North Central Texas AAA (Arlington, TX)
- Senior Community Outreach Services, Inc. (Alamo, TX)
- Senior Resources (Norwich, CT)
- South Alabama Regional Planning Commission (Mobile, AL)
- Washington County Commission on Aging, Inc./Area Agency on Aging for Washington County, Maryland (Hagerstown, MD)
- Washington County Disability, Aging & Veteran Services (Hillsboro, OR)
- WISE & Healthy Aging (Santa Monica, CA)
Achievements to date
Since their inception in 2009, the BECs have helped over 650,000 individuals identify more than $589 million in benefits they were eligible for, but missing out on.
For more information about the lessons learned from the first and second cohorts of BECs, download our reports: Person-Centered Benefits Access: Lessons Learned from the BECs’ First Year and Increasing Benefits Access for People with Medicare: Lessons Learned from the Second Generation of BECs.