Accessing Healthcare Benefits

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

The federal government offers programs designed to help those who may have difficulty paying for Medicare or accessing lower-cost healthcare. Bacoa’s skilled SHIP counselors can help you understand and navigate your health insurance benefits, which can seem complicated.

You likely have questions about how your insurance works and what is available and affordable. Ask us about Medicare, Medicaid, the Marketplace, and Low Income programs that can help you pay for health insurance. To stay current with the health insurance marketplace, SHIP counselors receive ongoing training.

  • Free consultations
  • Private and confidential
  • A thorough review of your existing insurance


Improving Lives and Saving Money

Bacoa’s SHIP counselors saved $112,502 on prescription drug costs through Medicare Part D this past year. We were able to provide services to 85 SHIP clients.

If you have difficulty paying for Medicare or accessing lower-cost healthcare, you may qualify for federal programs that can help you. Call Bacoa at (847) 381-5030 for enrollment assistance.

Woman Standing and Older Woman Sitting in Front of Laptop

Bacoa provides older adults and their families with information on a variety of benefits. These include:


  • Medicare—including Prescription Drug plans—and Medicare supplements
  • Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs
  • Retiree health plans
  • Appealing Denied Claims
  • Long-term care

Bacoa is a SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program)
site providing counseling and information on a variety of health insurance topics:

  • The “When I’m 64″ series in May and September helps beneficiaries better understand Medicare
  • Medicare A and B, Medicare Part D, and Medicare supplements
  • Medicare Advantage
  • Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative
  • Medicare Cost Savings Plans for beneficiaries with low income
  • Assistance in understanding Medicare claims processing and filing appeals
  • From mid-October through early December, SHIP-certified counselors take appointments to evaluate Medicare Part D plans to ensure beneficiaries are getting the best pricing
  • Prescription drug assistance for beneficiaries with low income
  • Medicare prevention and wellness benefits
  • The Healthcare Insurance Marketplace for those 64 and under without insurance

Medicare Savings Program

Medicare Savings Program pays for the Medicare Part B premium and may include deductibles. People who qualify must meet asset and income criteria.

Another part of this program acts like a Medicare Supplement; not only does it pay for the Medicare Part B premium, but it also pays for Medicare Part A premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.


  • One person: Income of less than $1,088 per month and savings of less than $9,360
  • Two people: Income of less than $1,462 per month and savings of less than $14,800

Social Security Extra Help for Prescriptions

Also known as the Low Income Subsidy (LIS), this pays completely or partially for the monthly premium for the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and helps generously with co-pays. This could mean free or very low costs for prescription drugs.


  • One person: Income of less than $1,615 per month and savings of less than $14,610
  • Two people: Income of less than $2,175 per month and savings of less than $29,160


Medicaid for Health Insurance and Prescriptions is available for low-income individuals under 65, disabled, or on Medicare.

If you are close to that income and have little or no savings, BACOA can help with Medicaid Medical and SNAP yearly re-registration.

Medicare Part B Free Preventative Healthcare Benefits and Wellness Visits

Certain preventative healthcare does not carry a 20% co-pay, so this would be free to those with Medicare Part B.

MMAI – (Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative) Managed Care

MMAI provides more coverage than straight Medicaid and is a one-card system that works through a network, but your physicians may or may not be a part of this system. If you want additional assistance, Bacoa has counselors trained for the Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP). Please give us a call at (847) 381-5030.

MMAI works like an HMO—people with both Medicaid and Medicare can qualify. Because you could be auto-enrolled, watch your mail for an enrollment letter. You can opt out or cancel enrollment.

Senior Health Insurance Program Logo

We’re here for you.

Bacoa is your connection to helpful resources. Our team is ready to assist with any aging-related needs. We look forward to connecting with you.