The Center for Benefits Access funds 45 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.
Achievements to date
Over a 7-year period from March 2009 through March 2016, the BECs have assisted 378,221 older adults and people with disabilities with 578,969 applications for benefits estimated to be worth over $1 billion.
For more information about the BECs’ successes and challenges, read our series of lessons learned reports.