Medicare Resources

Turn to these resources for additional information and assistance on programs and/or services that are available.

The Department of Elderly Affairs
The Department of Elderly Affairs is a state program that gives free local health insurance counseling to people with Medicare.

Department of Elderly Affairs
74 West Road
Hazard Building, 2nd floor
Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-3000
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: (401) 462-0740
Web site: www.dea.state.ri.us

Employer (or “Group”) Coverage
If you or your spouse receive benefits from a current or former employer or union, call the employer/union benefits administrator or BCBSRI Customer Service if you have any questions about your employer/union benefits, plan premiums, or the open enrollment season.

Important Note: Your (or your spouse’s) employer/union benefits may change, or you (or your spouse) may lose the benefits, if you enroll in a plan with Medicare Part D drug coverage. Call your employer/union benefits administrator or BCBSRI Customer Service to find out whether the benefits will change or be terminated if you or your spouse enroll in a plan with Medicare Part D drug coverage.

Medicaid
Medicaid is a state government program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited incomes and resources. Some people with Medicare are also eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid has programs that can help pay for your Medicare premiums and other costs, if you qualify. You may also contact the Medicaid office to inquire about your LIS status or level. To find out more about Medicaid and its programs, contact:

Rhode Island Department of Human Services
74 West Road
Hazard Building, #74, 1st floor
Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-5300
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: 1-800-745-5555
Web site: www.dhs.ri.gov

The Medicare Program
Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people 65 years of age or older, some people under age 65 with disabilities, and people with End Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). CMS is the federal agency in charge of the Medicare program. CMS stands for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. CMS contracts with and regulates Medicare Health Plans (including Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.) Here are ways to get help and information about Medicare from CMS:

Phone: 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: 1-877-486-2048
Web site: www.medicare.gov

The Point
The Point provides information, referrals, and help getting started with programs and services for seniors, adults with disabilities, and their caregivers.

ADRC/The Point
50 Valley Street
Providence, RI 02909

Phone: (401) 462-4444
Web Site: http://adrc.ohhs.ri.gov/

Quality Improvement Organization
"QIO" stands for Quality Improvement Organization. The QIO is a group of doctors and health professionals in your state that reviews medical care and handles certain types of complaints from patients with Medicare, and is paid by the federal government to check on and help improve the care given to Medicare patients. There is a QIO in each state. The QIO in Rhode Island is Healthcentric Advisors. The doctors and other health experts in the QIO review certain types of complaints made by Medicare patients. These include complaints about quality of care and appeals filed by Medicare patients who think the coverage for their hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health agency, or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation stay is ending too soon. You may contact Healthcentric Advisors at:

Healthcentric Advisors
235 Promenade Street, Suite 500, Box 18
Providence, RI 02908
Phone: (401) 528-3200

Railroad Retirement Board
If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board, you may contact them.

Phone: Call your local Railroad Retirement Board Office or 1-877-772-5772.
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: (312) 751-4701
Web site: www.rrb.gov

Rhode Island Health Literacy Project
The Rhode Island Health Literacy Project seeks to heighten awareness of health literacy issues so that all Rhode Islanders better communicate and understand health information, treatment options, and self-care instructions. On their Web site, you can find information on the following topics:

  • Taking charge of your health
  • Checklist for your checkups
  • Medication tracking pocket card
  • Advance care planning

Information may be available in different languages.

Web site: www.rihlp.org

Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly
Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly (RIPAE) is the State Pharmacy Assistance Program (SPAP) – an organization that provides financial help for prescription drugs to limited-income and medically needy senior citizens and individuals.

Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly (RIPAE)
74 West Road
Hazard Building, 2nd floor
Cranston, RI 02920

Phone: (401) 462-3000
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: (401) 462-0740
Web site: www.dea.ri.gov/programs/prescription_assist.php

Social Security
Social Security programs include retirement benefits, disability benefits, family benefits, survivors' benefits, and benefits for the aged and blind. You may also contact Social Security to inquire about your LIS status or level.

Phone: 1-800-772-1213
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: 1-800-325-0778
Web site: www.ssa.gov

Altegra Health, Inc. (formerly Social Services Coordinators)
As a partner of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Altegra Health, Inc. can provide you education and assistance for enrolling into Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) and for Part D Extra Help. Applicable only to BlueCHiP for Medicare plan members.

Phone: 1-866-866-7680
TTY/TDD for hearing impaired: 1-877-644-3244

Social Service Check Up gives you access to discounts and community assistance programs. Learn what programs you might qualify for by clicking the link below.
Web site: https://checkup.sscincorporated.com/

Last updated: 09/25/2012

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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an HMO plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island depends on contract renewal.