There are many plans that the government has put in place to ensure that all citizens are healthy and even able to get help during emergencies. One of these plans includes free phones for seniors on the Medicare program. This is a program where the federal government offers free home mobile phones to the elderly for emergency purposes. More details on Medicare and Medicaid program will be discussed later in this article.
We all know that it is the responsibility of every person to ensure they are safe and healthy. For a nation to develop, it requires sharp and healthy individuals who come up with new simple scientific ideas to solve problems. Individuals with a clear mind can only deliver exemplary leadership, good infrastructure, well-manufactured products, and other services. Therefore, the federal government is also taking the health and safety of individuals into its own hands.
In the United States of America, a federal program commonly known as the lifeline program was initiated to provide free home phone services, majorly for emergency services to anyone. In addition to free phones, this program also provides unlimited talks every month. This program is mostly intended to help seniors who cannot use cell phones easily. ReachOut, US Cellular, and SafeLink wireless are just some of the service providers for the Lifeline program.
Acknowledgement of Lifeline Program & Medicaid
This is a program that was initially created by the government to provide free government cell phones for low-income individuals. The program was later upgraded and improved to offer free home mobile phones and affordable monthly plans for the. Keeping in mind that most of the seniors are on the social security program, their income is very low, and they are also prone to sickness; therefore, the government has taken the reasonable step of providing them with free phones for emergencies.
To provide even more and better service to the people, the government has offered to provide free cell phones to seniors in the Medicare program. So, what is the Medicare program? It is a federal health insurance program created for individuals 65 years and above. The program also offers services to certain younger people with disabilities, people with End-Stage Renal Disease, people with permanent kidney failure who require dialysis or transplant.
In Terms of Medicaid
This is a joint state and a federal government program that is intended to provide health coverage for individuals with low income. This health insurance covers the medical cost for people with limited income. It also offers services such as nursing home care and personal care services. Different states have unique qualification rules. Therefore, it is advisable to contact the state medical assistant office to check eligibility for the program in a particular state.
There is a health coverage plan known as dual eligibility, where one person can qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. This enables the individual to enjoy extra help on most health care costs. When enrolled in these two programs, Medicare is the one that pays for health coverage first then, followed by Medicaid.
Medicaid and Medicare programs that are both sponsored by the government of the United States of America both provide medical care services such as drug cost cover to the US citizen. However, the significant difference between the two are discussed below;
- Medicare provides medical coverage for individuals 65 years or older and does not stress on income level so much for eligibility.
- On the other hand, Medicaid provides coverage to individuals with a low level of income and with limited resources.
The Best method to get Free Mobile Phones on Medicare for Seniors
It is crucial to note that the government does not offer free government smartphones to all seniors enrolled in the Medicare program. This is because some seniors can obtain mobile phones and all medical services on their own without any problem. Therefore, the government keenly considers individuals with low income who are either on social security programs or other federal assistance programs. These federal programs include:
- Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program
- Federal Public Housing Assistance
- Veteran Pension and Survivors Benefit
Therefore, for a senior in the Medicare program to qualifier for the free government phones and low mobile plans, they need to be 65 years or older or be in one or two of the listed federal assistance programs. Medicare seniors who qualify for this program can obtain the free phones online or by visiting a carrier that offers Lifeline assistance. After successful application, one enrolls by finding a local wireless provider that offers lifeline support.
The following is the application procedure to follow;
i) When applying online
- Visit nationalverifier.servicenowservices.com to verify your digital photos and required documents.
- Choose your state
- Click the “Get Started” button
- Follow the on-screen instruction and fill out the online form
ii) When applying through standard mail
- Make physical photocopies of necessary documents
- Print the Lifeline application form
- Fill in the application form
- Send the application form and the documents to a Lifeline Support center
Our Recommended 4 Best Companies Whose Provide Free Cell Phones for Senior on Medicare
It is important to note that there are no Lifeline providers that operate in all states; therefore, one has to find the carrier available in a certain location. After successful application of the Lifeline program, one has to find the local wireless provider that offers Lifeline support in that specific area. To find the provider, you are only required;
- To visit data.usac.org
- Enter your Zip code or city and state
- Then click the “Search” button
Some of the wireless companies proving cell phone plans with free phones for the seniors on Medicare have been discussed below.
i) Assurance Wireless
It is a federal Lifeline program that offers unlimited texting, free monthly minutes, and data. These services vary from one place to another. However, most states get up to 3GB of data, 1000 voice minutes, and unlimited texts. Some of the states that enjoy these services are California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio, Washington, Texas, and many more.
ii) Infinity Mobile
The company offers free phones and highly discounted plans that come in tribal and non-tribal forms. Seniors on Medicare get up to 1GB of data, 1000 minutes of talk time, and unlimited texts. It also offers even better services to Indian American citizens who qualify for the companies’ services. They receive an extended mobile data plan of up to 2GB.
iii) Qlink Wireless
It offers free mobile phone services, unlimited talk time, text messaging, and 3GB of mobile data. Customers enrolled in this service also enjoy no-contract deals, no monthly bills, no credit checks, no fees, and no surcharges. In addition to all these super deals, the company also offers affordable prepaid wireless cell phone services.
iv) Assist Wireless
Different states receive different plans provided by this company. Its services are available for residents in Maryland, Missouri, and Arkansas. These residents receive free mobile phone plans that include 1000 minutes of talk time, 500 texts, and 50B of mobile data. The residents in the state of Oklahoma benefit from tribal plans, which include unlimited talks and texts and 4.5 GB of data. Therefore, being one of the best options for tribal lifeline qualifiers.
Ways to Get a Free Phone Through Social Security
The social security program is a program that was started by the federal government of the United States of America to provide financial assistance to individuals who have already retired. It is a program that withholds 6.2% Social Security tax from individuals’ paychecks, and the employer also pays another 6.2% of individual earnings on taxes. These taxes are then placed into the social security trust fund, which earns interest, and the funds are used to pay the current social security recipient.
Another benefit of being a social security beneficiary is that the federal government provides free phones for seniors on social security to help them during emergencies. A senior individual has to satisfy the following conditions to be eligible to get free smartphone services through the social security program.
- The household of the individual must be considered a low-income household, that is, an income that is at or below the federal government poverty level or no more than 135%of the federal poverty guidelines.
- The individual qualifies to participate in other federal government assistance programs such as temporary assistance for needy families, school lunch program, Medicaid, head start, some tribal programs, and many more.
It is noted that free phones are not given to all seniors in the Medicare program. Therefore, for a senior in Medicare to benefit from government free phones and plans, they must be 65 years or older, be a beneficiary of the government assistance program or have low income, that is, at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. The free phones and affordable plans offered by the different wireless companies are unique and available only in specific locations.