My brother is 81, lives on Social Security in a subsidized independent care apartment, has no assets, lives alone.

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He should already have Medicare. What he needs is a secondary insurance to cover what Medicare doesn’t pay for. Like for doctors visits MediCARE usually pays 80% and the remainder 20% gets paid by a secondary insurance - whether it’s medicaid, Blue Cross or a Medicare advantage plan or a Medicare gap plan. You can apply on-line for community based Medicaid. If he does this he’s considered a “dual”, aka on MediCARE and Medicaid. Realize not all MDs take dual patients.

If he’s living in IL, you want to make sure he’s applying for community based Medicaid program not LTC Medicaid. But He can also look at Medicare “ gap” or Medicare “advantage” plan for coverage, To me which path is best is kinda dependent on where he lives & gets his health care from. Like if he’s in a bigger city, there will be several different advantage plans that’s each tied into a affiliated hospital or group of hospitals & their clinic system, but he has to only get medical care within that system for coverage to be “in network” and paid.

The IL apt he is in now, if its subsidized senior housing, I bet there is some sort of scheduled wellness check done on a regular basis for residents. Find out when the next one is and plan to go with him. They usually are a 2 - 3 person team of RN, Social worker and either a CNA or program manager. Like they do flu shots and do routine screening for blood pressure, diabetes. One of the team will have suggestions as to whats available in his area.

If his city has PACE, he may want to get on the list to enroll for it. PACE are Centers they go to 1-3 days a week and get their health care monitoring and wellness clinics done at the PACE center as well as lunch. If he needs to get a hospitalization done, they coordinate getting him to hospital and then in home care after he gets out. PACE provides for transportation too. Pace will have staff that helps them apply for Medicaid. If he’s subsidized housing, he’s already got his financials in the system to financially qualify for Medicaid
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