I have written several articles, in the past years, about the Well Spouse Foundation. I became a member of this organization decades ago. The book Mainstay, by Maggie Strong, was really the start. When I read this book, written by a young woman when her husband became ill with Multiple Sclerosis, I felt I had found a friend who was dealing with the same emotions that I was coping with. Mainstay was the impetus that led to the Well Spouse Association. It is a wonderful organization that provides support for the spouses of the chronically ill.
Through their newsletter, “Mainstay,”(which I have often referred to as a support group in your mailbox) many well spouses get emotional and practical help. Their many programs include respite weekends, forums, listings of local support groups, book reviews, and online discussions that give many well spouses their only contact with others who are dealing with the same problems, situations and emotions.
Their Mentor Program is online support for members providing one to one support for a well spouse from a veteran caregiver. For members without e-mail who want to communicate with other well spouses, their Round Robin Letter Writing Groups consists of communication among five to seven well spouses.
Help Your Mom Save $3,600!
By Everett M. Lo
Social Security Administration in New York
People all over the country are helping their moms save as much as $3,600 per year on the cost of prescription drugs. You can too!
We all know the high cost of medicine can be a burden on mothers who have limited income and resources. But there is extra help available through Social Security that could pay part of her monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments.
The extra help could be worth up of $3,600 per year.
To figure out whether your mother is eligible, Social Security needs to know her income and the value of her savings, investments and real estate (other than the home she lives in). To qualify for the extra help, she must be receiving Medicare and also have:
Income limited to $15,600 for an individual or $21,000 for a married couple living together. Even if her annual income is higher, she still may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. Some examples where income may be higher include if she or her spouse support other family members who live with them; Have earnings from work; or live in Alaska or Hawaii; and (have)
Resources limited to $11,990 for an individual or $23,970 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. We do not count her house and car as resources.
Social Security has an easy-to-use online application that you can help complete for your mom. You can find it at http://www.socialsecurity.gov. To apply by phone or have an
application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to the nearest Social Security office.
To learn more about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods visit http://www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).
So, this Mother’s Day, help your mom save up to $3,600 a year on her prescription drugs. Long after the candy and flowers are gone, the extra help through Social Security will keep on giving.
I hope this will help some of you ease the financial burden of chronic illness a bit. For more information on the Well Spouse Association, contact Well Spouse Association, 63 West Main Street, Suite H Freehold, NJ 07728 or you can call 800-838-0879, 732-577-8899 or fax 732-577-8644. Their e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org and their website is . It may be one of the most supportive things you do for yourself as a well spouse.
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