APPRISE - Services

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Free, Objective, Expert Medicare Counseling

APPRISE is the PA State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), a program through the PA Department of Aging. APPRISE provides free, accurate, unbiased insurance counseling to Medicare beneficiaries residing in PA.  APPRISE works individually and confidentially with individuals to determine their health care needs and preferences, compare health insurance options, and obtain Medicare and supplemental coverage that fits their lifestyle and their budget.

In Allegheny County, the APPRISE program is operated by Wesley Family Services in partnership with the Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging.

APPRISE counselors offer customized one-on-one assistance on the following topics:

Understanding Medicare

  • Help beneficiaries, family caregivers, and Aging network professionals understand Medicare and its covered health services
  • Review the guidelines for Medicare eligibility and enrollment
  • Explain how Medigap supplemental insurance, Medicare Advantage plans, and Part D prescription drug benefits work together with "original" Medicare (Parts A & B) to help cover health care costs
  • Help beneficiaries understand and navigate the Medicare appeals process

Extra Help with Prescriptions and other Medicare Expenses

APPRISE counselors conduct a benefits checkup for clients to determine if someone might be eligible for additional benefit programs that would reduce their out-of-pocket expenses for prescription co-pays, monthly premiums, and annual deductibles. APPRISE also helps individuals complete applications for these programs:

  • “Extra Help”/Low Income Subsidy – lowers Part D prescription drug plan costs
  • PACE/PACENET – Pennsylvania’s State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare Savings Program - (reduces Medicare Part B premiums)
  • Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD)