Archive for the ‘Low Income Help’ Category

You can now enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan for next year!

Beginning on November 15, you can submit an online enrollment on the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder Tool by simply clicking on the “Enroll” button and completing the requested information. As you are deciding on the best plan for your needs, check out the 5-Star Plan Ratings information. You can find more information about the data represented by the star ratings and how quality and performance are measured by selecting the “Click here to view more details on Plan Ratings” link close to the star ratings in the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder and Medicare Options Compare Tools.

Improve Health for All: REACH 2010
Mon, 12 May 2008 14:05:00 -0500

The future of health of the nation will be determined to a large extent by how effectively we work with communities to reduce and eliminate health disparities between non-minority and minority populations. This podcast illustrates CDC’s REACH 2010 initiative – Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health – which funds innovative programs across the United States.

2003 Abortion Surveillance Report
Wed, 31 Jan 2007 09:39:00 -0600

This podcast provides a summary of the latest CDC Abortion Surveillance Report. It is the one of two podcasts available on this topic. The report is prepared annually by CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health. Additional information on this CDC Surveillance System is available at

ay, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the availability of thirteen new 30-second flu radio public service announcements (PSA).  These new radio messages feature 13 of America’s governors and Elmo from Sesame Street.  The messages, which will be promoted to radio stations across the country, promote key flu prevention messages to parents and children.

Children and young adults continue to be disproportionately effected by H1N1. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than half of the hospitalizations from 2009 H1N1 flu reported recently were people age 24 and younger.  That’s why HHS has teamed up with Sesame Workshop and other partners to promote flu prevention PSAs aimed at educating children and their parents about the importance of getting vaccinated.

“Elmo has emerged as one of our best partners in fighting the flu this year,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “That’s why we are excited for Elmo to join some of the nation’s governors in promoting important flu prevention tips. We know that kids are especially vulnerable against H1N1, and we hope that hearing flu prevention tips from Elmo will help them stay healthy and flu free.”

These new 30-second radio ads are designed for broadcast in states around the country. All of the new ads are available for download at

All of the latest flu PSAs are available on   The new radio PSAs include recordings from:

Gov. M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut, Gov. Chet Culver of Iowa, Gov. Mark Parkinson of Kansas, Gov. Jennifer Granholm of Michigan, Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri, Gov. Bev Perdue of North Carolina, Gov. John Hoeven of North Dakota, Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio, Gov. Brad Henry of Oklahoma, Gov. Ted Kulongoski of Oregon, Gov. Jim Douglas of Vermont, Gov. Chris Gregoire of Washington, and Gov. Dave Freudenthal of Wyoming.


October 23, 2009

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced the award of $17 million to fund projects to fight costly and dangerous health care-associated infections, or HAIs.

“When patients go to the hospital, they expect to get better, not worse,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Eliminating infections is critical to making care safer for patients and to improving the overall quality and safety of the health care system. We know that it can be done, and this new initiative will help us reach our goal.”

HAIs are one of the most common complications of hospital care. Nearly 2 million patients develop HAIs, which contribute to 99,000 deaths each year and $28 billion to $33 billion in health care costs. HAIs are caused by different types of bacteria that infect patients being treated in a hospital or health care setting for other conditions. The most common HAI-causing bacteria is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. The number of MRSA-associated hospital stays has more than tripled since 2000, reaching 368,600 in 2005, according to HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

Of the $17 million, $8 million will fund a national expansion of the Keystone Project, which within 18 months successfully reduced the rate of central-line blood stream infections in more than 100 Michigan intensive care units and saved 1,500 lives and $200 million. The project was originally started by the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and the Michigan Health & Hospital Association to implement a comprehensive unit-based safety program. The program involves using a checklist of evidence-based safety practices; staff training and other tools for preventing infections that can be implemented in hospital units; standard and consistent measurement of infection rates; and tools to improve teamwork among doctors, nurses and hospital leaders.

Last year, AHRQ funded an expansion of this project to 10 states. With additional funding from AHRQ and a private foundation, the Keystone Project is now operating in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The new funding announced today will expand the effort to more hospitals, extend it to other settings in addition to ICUs, and broaden the focus to address other types of infections. Specifically, the new $8 million in funding will provide:

  • $6 million to the Health Research & Educational Trust for national efforts to expand the Comprehensive Unit-Based Patient Safety Program to Reduce Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections. The funding will allow more hospitals in all 50 states to participate in the program and expand the program’s reach into hospital settings outside of the ICU. The Health Research & Educational Trust will also use $1 million to support a demonstration project that will help fight catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
  • $1 million to Yale University to support a comprehensive plan to prevent bloodstream infections in hemodialysis patients.

AHRQ, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also identified several high-priority areas to apply the remaining $9 million toward reducing MRSA and other types of HAIs. These projects will focus on:

  • Reducing Clostridium difficile infections through a regional hospital collaborative.
  • Reducing the overuse of antibiotics by primary care clinicians treating patients in ambulatory and long-term care settings.
  • Evaluating two ways to eliminate MRSA in ICUs.
  • Improving the measurement of the risk of infections after surgery.
  • Identifying national-, regional- and state-level rates of HAIs that are acquired in the acute care setting.
  • Reducing infections caused by Klebsiella pneumoniae Carbapenemase-producing organisms by applying recently developed recommendations from CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee.
  • Standardizing antibiotic use in long-term care settings (two projects).
  • Implementing teamwork principles for frontline health care providers.

A complete list of institutions funded by the $17 million in resources awarded today is available at

For more information, please contact AHRQ Public Affairs: (301) 427-1258 or (301) 427-1998.


The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, the nation’s largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare is a Health Insurance Program for people age 65 or older, some disabled people under age 65, and people of all ages with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant).

Welcome to the Medicare Eligibility Tool

This section of the site is designed to provide you with information about your Medicare eligibility and enrollment. You will be asked to answer a series of questions. The number of questions, as well as the questions themselves will be dynamic based on your answers. Once they have collected enough information, they will display detailed information tailored to your specific situation. Please note that Social Security will make the final decision on your eligibility and enrollment status.

If you are not a U.S. citizen or a lawfully admitted alien who has lived in the U.S. continuously for a five-year period, please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for your Medicare enrollment and eligibility.

People age 50 and over are at higher risk for serious complications from flu. You should get your flu shot as soon as they become available.  Signs of the flu include fever, sore throat, body aches, runny nose and coughling.

How often is it covered? Once a year in the fall or winter

For whom? All people with Medicare Part B

Your costs in the Original Medicare Plan? You pay nothing as long as you have Medicare Part B

Help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (the new name for the federal Food Stamp Program) helps low-income individuals and families buy the food they need for good health. Although SNAP is the national name, your state may use a different name.

To learn more about SNAP and find your state’s application forms, simply select your state from the state list.

Extra Help for People with Limited Income and Resources

If you are not sure if you qualify for extra help paying for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage, visit these two online resources:

1. Apply Online for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs

If your resources are less than $11,710 (single) or $23,410 (married) and your income is limited, you may qualify for extra help paying for Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage. These resource limits are for 2007 and may increase each year. The resource limits include $1,500 per person for burial expenses. Resources include your savings and stock, but not your home or car. If you haven’t received an application or information about the extra help, and you think you may qualify, you should apply.

Remember, as Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Leavitt says, “If in doubt, fill it out!” You can apply Online by visiting the Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs section on the Social Security Administration website.

2. Find Out if You Should Apply for the Extra Help

Visit the BenefitsCheckUpRx website to learn about and join valuable federal, state and private programs that can save you money on health care and prescription drugs including the new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage.

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