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HHS releases grants for new Medicare initiative


WASHINGTON Disabled and elderly people and their caregivers are eligible to apply for special assistance through Medicare under a program announced Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services.

HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius released $25 million in grants and $5 million for a national resource center to support the effort under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act, passed last year. The initiative includes special targeting efforts for rural areas and elderly Native Americans.

“Medicare is essential to our effort to provide high-quality health care to all Americans,” Sebelius said. “Many people could be eligible for extra help through Medicare and not even know it. We know that beneficiaries with the greatest needs are often the most difficult to reach.”

The funding is jointly administered by HHS’ Administration on Aging and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and is being awarded to State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, State Agencies on Aging, Area Agencies on Aging, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, Native Americans Tribal Organizations and local communities to help seniors, caregivers and those with disabilities on Medicare.

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