Emergency Financial Assistance
Catholic Community Services of Northern Nevada –
Community Service Program
775-322-7073 Ext. 221
St. Vincent’s Center
500 East 4th Street, Reno NV 89513
Provides help for persons in emergency situations caused by loss of job, family crisis, illness, or other situations. Services include clothing, bus and prescription vouchers; limited rental assistance; short-term family housing; toiletries; and referral to other local service agencies for additional assistance.
Nevada Family Resource Centers
- Central Reno Family Resource Center
1755 South Wells Avenue, Reno NV 89502
Offers services in the Wells Avenue/Central Reno area in zip codes 89501, 89502, 89503, 89509, 89511, 89521. Also provides energy pro- gram intake site.
- The Rose McGuire Family Resource Center
7760 Carlyle Drive, Reno NV 89506
Serves residents living in the 89506, 89508 and 89523 zip codes.
Emergency food, clothing, prescription assistance and information and referral may be available through Family Resource Center Sites.
Salvation Army – Social Services Department
1931 Sutro Street, Reno NV 89512
Contact social services to find out about available assistance with clothing, rent, utilities and other basic needs.
490 Mill Street, Reno NV 89502
Assists families (with children) and persons 60+ by providing temporary rental assistance, deposit assistance and utility assistance to prevent homelessness. Recipients must meet eligibility guidelines.
Social Security (SS)
- Reno Office
1170 Harvard Way, Reno NV 89502
Social Security (SS) provides benefits to you and your (eligible) family. Benefits originate from the money you (or your spouse) paid during the years worked. To request a Social Security statement over the Internet go to http://www.ssa.gov/.
You may apply for SS benefits about three months before your retirement (at age 62, for reduced benefits; at age 65 and two months for people born in 1938 and gradually increasing to age 67 for persons born in 1960 or later for full benefits) at the SS office. At 62 you will take a 20 percent reduction. Bring your birth certificate, SS number, and income tax form (or W-2 form) from the previous year.
Call for more information including requests for a new or replacement SS card, records of your SS earnings, estimates of future benefits, or proof of your payments received from SS, as well as updates and revisions in the Medicare program.
Note: Dramatic changes in demographics (78 million “baby boomers”) will severely strain SS financing within the next 30 years. (In 2017 benefits owed will be more than taxes collected, and SS will need to begin tapping trust funds to pay benefits. The trust funds will be exhausted in 2040. At that time.) If no changes are made, SS will not be able to meet all of its benefit obligations. Plans for future SS funding will continue to change and evolve as strategies are debated. Visit the SS website or call for prerecorded information in order to keep abreast of these changes.
Today, about half of all workers are covered under an employer-sponsored pension, and many people are not saving as much as they should. While SS replaces about 40 percent of the average worker’s pre-retirement earnings, most financial advisors say that you will need 70 percent or more of pre-retirement earnings to live comfortably. Even with a pension, you will still need to save.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income is a federal program that pays monthly checks to people who are 65 or older, or are disabled or blind, and have limited income and assets. Eligibility is determined by amount of income, savings and property.
PLEASE SEE PHARMACY IN CHAPTER 3, PAGE 54 FOR INFORMATION ON MEDICARE PART D.
Medicare is a comprehensive federal health care insurance program administered by the Health Care Financing Administration, providing hospital and medical insurance to persons entitled to Social Security (SS) benefits. To be eligible you must be 65 or older (and have received SS); have permanent kidney failure (at any age); or be under 65 years and have been on SS for 24 months. Apply three months before you need the coverage.
The original purpose of Medicare was to increase access to health care and reduce its financial burden on older, retired or disabled Americans. Medicare was never intended to pay 100 percent of all medical expenses, but is a benefit that will cover some of the services you may need as you age.
Be sure any services you use are with Medicare-certified providers. Another valuable resource is to contact the billing clerk at the hospital or skilled nursing facility providing services to clarify your benefits.
As a Medicare beneficiary, you have certain guaranteed rights –
- The right to receive emergency care when and where you need it without prior approval.
- The right to information about all treatment options from your health care provider in language clear to you.
- The right to appeal if Medicare does not pay for a covered service you have been given, or if your doctor or hospital does not give you a service that you believe should be covered.
- The right to know how your Medicare health plan pays its doctors (you must request this information).
- The right to have any personal information that Medicare collects kept private and to know why Medicare needs it.
- The right to choose a women’s health specialist from your plan’s list of doctors.
- The right, if you have a complex or serious medical condition, to have enough visits to a specialist to deal with your needs.
- The right to file a grievance if you have concerns or problems with your plan which are not about payment or service requests.
If you believe that any of your rights have been violated, call the Office of the Inspector General’s Hotline at 800-447-8477.
Medicare Benefit Information
If you are already a Medicare recipient you will receive the Medicare & You 2009 guide before the beginning of January when the cost, benefits and deductibles change.
Medicare Part A – Hospital Insurance
Part A of Medicare is free for people who have 40 or more quarters of Medicare covered employment. For those with 30-39 quarters of Medicare covered employment, the premium is $244.00 per month. People who have less than 30 quarters of covered employment can pay a premium of $443.00 per month for coverage.
If you are not sure if you have Part A, look on your red, white and blue Medicare card. It will show Part A (Hospital Insurance) on the lower left corner of your card. You can also call Social Security.
Benefits begin when you enter the hospital and end when you have been out of the hospital or facility with skilled nursing care for 60 consecutive days. If you are re-admitted within that 60 days, you are still in the same benefit period and would not pay another deductible. If you are admitted to a hospital after that benefit period ends, an entirely new benefit period begins and a new deductible is owed.
For 2009, Part A pays for all hospital-covered services up to 60 days per benefit period except for the first $1,068 for which you are responsible. For 61-90 days, the co-payment is $267 per day. For 91-150 days, the beneficiary pays $534 per day.
In a skilled nursing facility, (if your doctor has certified you need skilled nursing), the beneficiary pays nothing days 1-20; days 21-100 cost the beneficiary $133.50 per day; after 100 days, the patient pays all costs. Covered services may include semi-private rooms, meals, regular nursing services, rehabilitation services, blood transfusions (except the first three pints of blood), drugs and medical supplies, and equipment (e.g., wheelchairs).
Medicare Home Health Care can be covered under Part A or Part B, but under most circumstances there is no deductible, co-pay, or difference in covered services under either coverage. You need physician certification and a home health care plan to access these benefits. Home health care services may include part-time skilled nursing care, physical therapy, speech-language therapy, home health aide services, durable medical equipment, and medical supplies used in the home.
MEDICARE PART B – MEDICAL INSURANCE
Part B assists in covering services deemed medically necessary including doctors, outpatient hospital care, and some other medical services that Part A does not cover, such as the services of physical and occupational therapists, and some home health services. Part B also helps cover some preventive services.
You pay the Medicare Part B premium of $96.40 per month (plus a $135 deductible fee one time per calendar year). You also pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount after you meet the deductible. This amount may be higher if you did not choose Part B when you were first eligible. The cost of Part B may go up ten percent for each 12-month period that you could have had Part B but did not take it.
If your income exceeds $85,000 for a single person and $170,000 for a couple, your Medicare Part B Premium may be higher than $96.40 per month.
Enrolling in Part B is your choice. If you choose to have Part B, the premium is usually taken out of your monthly Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement payment. Otherwise Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every three months. You should get your Medicare premium bill by the tenth of the month. If you have not received your bill by the tenth of the month, call Social Security.
Medicare Preventive Screening
Welcome to Medicare Exam
A one-time Welcome to Medicare Exam is now provided within the first 6 months after you sign up for Medicare Part B. (After 6 months, Medicare will not pay for this check-up). You pay 20% of the Medicare approved amount after you meet the Part B deductible. If seeing a new doctor be sure to bring your health records including immunizations, your family history and the list of prescriptions as well as a schedule of when the prescribed medications are taken. The exam will cover a review of your medical history, blood pressure, vision and other preventive screenings. The doctor will also provide you with a checklist explaining a schedule of preventive screenings that you should receive.
Other Preventive Services Covered by Medicare
Other preventive services covered either in part or in full by Medicare include cardiovascular screenings, various types of cancer screenings, some immunizations, bone mass measurements (screenings for osteoporosis), diabetes screenings, and glaucoma tests. There are specific guidelines including frequency and types of testing. For more specific information about preventive services covered by Medicare you may call Medicare Customer Service at 800-633-4227 or access the information online at http://www.medicare.gov/.
Medicare Advantage plans
The Medicare Advantage Plan program is the updated version of the Medicare + Choice Plan Program. The Modernization Act of 2003 Provides more options for Medicare Beneficiaries to enroll in private plans.
For a monthly fee (in addition to your Medicare Premium) you can choose features that are more specific to your needs.
Features that are provided through Medicare Advantage Plans include:
Managed Care Plans – A network of doctors is available through the plan. A primary doctor coordinates your care and referrals are required to see doctors out of the network.
Preferred Provider Organization Plans – Typically the doctors, specialists are all predetermined through this plan. If you chose a doctor or specialist not covered through the plan you may have to pay additional costs. No referrals are necessary.
Private Fee-For-Service Plans – You may visit any doctor of your choice that will accept the plan’s payment.
Specialty Plans – These are designed to meet special needs for certain people with specific health issues.
Anyone who receives Medicare Part A and Part B may join a Medicare Advantage Plan. Please check with the plan provider to find out what plan best fits your specific needs.
The Medicare Personal Plan Finder is a service provided through the Medicare website to assist you in comparing services available in your area. To access this information visit http://www.medicare.gov/.
Medicare Claim Accuracy
Be sure you are billed only for the care you received. If you have tried to correct a bill with the health care provider or supplier who submitted the claim and suspect fraud or abuse has occurred, call the Office of the Inspector General’s Hotline at 800-447-8477.
Do You Still Have Questions About Medicare?
If you have further questions, call the State Health Insurance Assistance (SHIP) of Nevada, Medicare Assistance Program at 775-328-2673 for information about Medicare/Insurance Counseling, or Medicare customer service at 800-633-4227.
PLEASE SEE MEDICARE/MEDICAID SUPPLEMENTAL PLANS ON PAGE 10 FOR INFORMATION ON MEDICAID PROGRAMS THAT ASSIST WITH MEDICARE COST.
This federal assistance program provides funding for low-income people (including many people who never imagined they would qualify for Medicaid, but have had their savings drained because of health expenses, and thereby are eligible) to pay for medical and long-term care in-home services. Medicaid standards differ from state to state, but types of medical assistance coverage that may be included are inpatient and outpatient hospital services, periodic diagnostic tests, laboratory services, physician services, rural health clinic services, x-ray services and skilled nursing facility care.
Department of Veterans Affairs (United States) –
Veterans Helpline 800-827-1000
Healthcare for Homeless Veterans
Nevada Office of Veterans Services
5460 Reno Corporate Drive, Suite 131
Reno NV 89511
Any veteran, family member of a veteran, can receive assistance in filing a claim with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for a service-connected disability, pension or other benefit program. Assistance includes help in filing claims, representation at local hearings, appeals and discharge upgrades.
VA Sierra Nevada Healthcare System
1000 Locust Street, Reno NV 89502
Provides medical care and has a veterans assistance officer on site to help with benefit filing and other issues.
Veterans Outreach Center
1155 West 4th Street, Suite 101, Reno NV 89503
Provides mental health counseling to combat veterans and their families.
Medicare does not pay for all your health care costs. Therefore, you may choose to purchase supplementary health care coverage (via employer or union health coverage plans, Medicare Supplemental Insurance, or State Assistance); or help in paying your health care costs through other resources (Medicare assistance programs).
Medicare / Medicaid Supplemental Plans
There are several basic ways to supplement Medicare/Medicaid coverage. For further details on the options listed below or other programs that might be beneficial to you, call the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Welfare and Supportive Services at 775-684-7200, or the SHIP of Nevada Medicare Assistance Program at 775-328-2673.
- Managed Care Plans
Managed care plans are prepaid, coordinated care plans, provided mainly by Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs). These plans focus on the relationship between the beneficiary and the primary care physician. Under this arrangement, the physician authorizes, arranges for, and coordinates all services for the beneficiary. Managed care plans may also offer benefits not covered by Medicare such as preventive care, prescription drugs, routine eye care, and worldwide emergency coverage.
- Medicare Supplement Plans – Medigap
Medicare Supplement Plans are one way to fill specific gaps in Medicare’s coverage. 1992 federal regulations set uniform policies for Medicare Supplement Plans. Each of the standard policies offer different groupings of benefits to address a wide range of individual needs. You need to apply for these within the six-month window of your Medicare eligibility. Contact Medicare Customer Service at 800-633-4227 to get a complete listing of Medicare supplements.
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualified Individual (QI) Programs
Medicare Savings Programs supplement Medicare expenses for Nevada residents 65+ and the disabled. Programs provide assistance to pay Medicare premiums and cost-sharing requirements. Applicants for the three following programs must be eligible for Medicare Part A. The Nevada Division of Welfare is responsible for processing applications for this program. Applications can be printed off of the website.
Nevada Division of Welfare & Supportive Services
Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
Payment of a portion of Part A and Part B Medicare premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. To be eligible an applicant’s income must be 100% below the federal poverty level.
SPECIFIED LOW-INCOME BENEFICIARY (SLMB)
Pays the Medicare Part B Premium. To be eligible, an applicant’s income must be between 100%-120% of the federal poverty level.
QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL-1 (QI-1)
This benefit is the payment of the Medicare Part B Premium. In order to be eligible for this program a recipient’s income must be between 120%-135% of the federal poverty level.
QUALIFIED INDIVIDUAL-2 (QI-2)
Medicaid pays for the portion of the Medicare Part B premium that is caused by the shift of some home health care services from Part A to Part B. In order to be eligible for this program a recipient’s income must be between 135%-175% of the federal poverty level.
Disability insurance replaces income you lose if you have a long-term illness or injury and cannot work. This is an important type of coverage for working-age people to consider. Disability insurance does not cover the cost of rehabilitation if you are injured. Check to see if it is covered by your major medical insurance.
Some employers offer group disability insurance, or you might be eligible for some government-sponsored programs that provide disability benefits. Many different kinds of individual policies are also available.
Health Insurance Information Resources
Reno Senior Center 775-328-2673
1155 East 9th Street, Reno NV 89512
SHIP counseling is provided at the center on a first-come first serve basis throughout the week at scheduled times. Please contact the center for days and times this counseling is offered.
Sparks Senior Center
Medicare counseling is offered on Wednesdays. Make an appointment by calling the center. Walk-ins are also welcome, but are only seen on a first come first serve basis.
State Health Insurance Assistance (SHIP)
of Nevada, Medicare Assistance Program
Information, counseling and assistance is provided Medicare beneficiaries who are Nevada residents.
Long-Term Care Insurance
The provisions in long-term insurance plans vary widely from plan to plan, so it is important to know exactly what you are purchasing before you sign a contract. Contact an elder law attorney, accountant, or financial planner for advice.
Long Term Care Advisors
46 Avenue De La Argent, Sparks NV 89434
Making sure you have adequate financial resources for the future takes planning and the wisdom to look ahead.
Find a bank with a convenient location and hours that fit your schedule. Make sure the bank does not charge you for services like direct depositing, banking by mail, transferring funds over the telephone, and deposits/withdrawals from machines.
Financial Planning, Management and Accounting
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Northern Nevada
575 East Plumb Lane, Reno NV 89502
Assists individuals and families to reduce their debt, improve creditworthiness and improve the quality of life. CCCS provides FREE credit counseling, budget counseling, and credit report review.
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
Reference to local fee-only planners who do not receive commission on sales of financial products.
Tax Returns and Preparation
Understand the implications of taxes involving capital gains, estate and inheritance, gifting to others, and income and property taxes.
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
200 South Virginia Street, Reno NV 89501
This office does not provide tax service over the phone. Information is given by way of automated information line.
Federal Tax Questions
Refund Information 800-829-4477
Forms and Publications 800-829-3676
The four major functions of the IRS are examinations, collections functions, taxpayers’ services, and criminal investigations. Estate, gift, pension plans, and exempt organizations are not services at this location, but please call this office for referral.
Nevada Legal Services Inc.
650 Tahoe Street, Reno NV 89509
Provides free tax preparation for persons in need during tax season.
Tax-Aide Volunteer Program
The Tax-Aide Program is a joint venture of the AARP and the Internal Revenue Service, providing free information and confidential assistance to senior citizens (middle to low-income, or disabled). Services include assistance in completing and filing simple income tax returns that do not require complex forms or involve extensive investment activities. Trained volunteers offer this annual service from February 1 to April 15. Elderly, ill or disabled individuals can arrange an in-home session.
Senior Citizen Tax/Rental Rebate Program
Washoe County Assessors Office
1001 East 9th Street, Reno NV 89512
Persons 62 and over may qualify for the Nevada Tax/Rental Rebate Program. Persons must meet current residency and income eligibility guidelines. Contact the assessors office to find out the schedule for acceptance of applications.