Resources for Saving Money When Your Income Is Limited

By Patricia Barry

Copyright © 2015 AARP

The following resources can help you save money through various public and private programs for people with limited incomes, such as those who qualify for Medicare.

  • BenefitsCheckUp: This website is a service of the National Council on Aging that allows you to find national, regional, state, and local programs that provide benefits you may qualify for without realizing it — or perhaps never knew existed. It has helped more than 4 million users find more than $15 billion in benefits. It asks about your zip code, age, health status, family circumstances, and income.

    You don’t give your name, address, or any other identifying information. You can choose to search for benefits that will help pay for prescriptions and/or for other benefits to reduce your living expenses, such as assistance for food, utilities, transportation, housing, and employment training.

  • The Health Resources and Services Administration: This federal agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services, provides a website that allows you to locate clinics in your locality for free or low-cost health care and medications.

  • The National Council on Aging: This nonprofit organization sponsors many programs designed to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, find jobs and community service opportunities, and connect with benefits and resources. It provides consumer information and invites questions through its website. If you don’t have Internet access, you can call 800-677-1116 to ask for phone numbers for resources in your community.

  • The Partnership for Prescription Assistance: This organization provides a single access point for getting information on more than 475 public and private assistance programs — including 180 offered by pharmaceutical manufacturers — that provide free or low-cost prescription drugs to people with limited incomes. To see whether you qualify for any programs, go to the website or call toll-free 888-477-2669.

    The site asks you to list your prescription drugs and give some information about yourself, including approximate income and savings, but not your name or any other identifying information. Any program you qualify for is identified, with instructions on how to apply. In many cases, you can download application forms from the website, fill them out, and take them to your doctor to send in.