As many Medicare beneficiaries face the possibility of increased premiums and deductibles for the coming year, the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas (CHC/SEK) may be able to help those affected find ways to ease the strain on their bank account.

CHC/SEK’s Medicare Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC) — the only one of its kind in Kansas — helps connect seniors and persons with disabilities access resources and programs that could help them pay for prescription drugs, food, utilities and more.

“There are programs out there that can help people start saving money right away,” said Rob Murnan, Medicare Enrollment Coordinator for CHC/SEK. “Most of the time, people are eligible for them and don’t realize it.”

Murnan added that many of those on Medicare in southeast Kansas qualify for extra benefits that they are not currently receiving. For instance, a married couple with an annual household income at or below $24,600 and assets, such as a savings account or investments, at or below $27,600 would qualify for Medicare Part D Extra Help which could save them 75 percent or more on prescription drug costs.

Through the BEC, enrollment counselors are able to review each person’s situation and create a customized report showing their eligibility for multiple benefit programs. The counselors can also assist with completing and submitting the paperwork as well as understanding how to use the new benefits once they are awarded.

“Knowing all the right places to go and how to navigate the system can be overwhelming,” noted Murnan. “This basically creates a one-stop resource that makes it easier to connect people with the benefits they deserve.”

Murnan added that services through the BEC are available at no cost thanks to a partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA).

For more information or to schedule an appointment with the Benefits Enrollment Center, contact Rob Murnan at 620-231-9873.