Help with medical bills for those on Medicare

For NE Minnesota and NW Wisconsin residents with limited income —

Why pay $1,000 to $2,000 per year for insurance when you can’t afford to?

Senior Partners Care helps you afford the health care that you need


Senior Partners Care Medicare Navigator Service — what is it?

It’s one of the Citizens Federation’s most important services, and it helps save people $1,000 to $2,000 per year or more, by avoiding the cost of a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage insurance policy that would be a financial burden.  It helps hundreds of people in the Duluth and Superior areas, and has been doing so for decades.

With the money saved, people better afford their food, medicine, and other household necessities.  And, they don’t avoid going to the doctor when they need to, for fear of the cost.

Our service is for people with limited income who are on Medicare, either because of disability or by being 65 or older.   The name of it is “Senior Partners Care,” but it is for anyone on Medicare with limited income, whether you are a senior or not.

It is NOT insurance, but it takes care of all or most of your medical bills IN PLACE OF insurance.


There are two ways that Senior Partners Care can help:

#1  Navigator Service for Medicare people who use the Essentia Health or St. Luke’s health care systems: 

These two systems offer assistance to patients who have too much income to be on Medicaid (Minnesota Medical Assistance or Wisconsin BadgerCare), but are still low income.   Essentia Health waives, for some people,  all of the portions of bills not paid by Medicare, or up to 75% for others – depending on your income.  St. Luke’s waives up to 90% or 75% of the portions of bills not paid by Medicare – depending on your income.  Anyone can apply directly to Essentia Health and St. Luke’s for these programs.  Full details can be found on their respective websites.

However, many people find that the hospitals’ assistance can be difficult to access on their own.  Senior Partners Care helps people with the entire process, and streamlines it as well.  We give you all the personal attention you need to obtain the financial help.  As a result, all or most of the doctor and hospital bills not paid by Medicare are waived.

#2 Agreements with other Health Care Providers:

Medical providers in Cloquet; some in Duluth (not part of Essentia Health or St. Luke’s); and some in Minneapolis-St. Paul waive all parts of doctor and hospital bills not paid by Medicare, for people who meet our Senior Partners Care guidelines of $2,023/month (single) or $2,743/month (couple), and household liquid assets below $50,200.

In both cases #1 and #2 above, all of these health care providers are waiving — that is, refraining from charging you — deductible and co-payment portions of their bills which are not reimbursed to them by Medicare.

Who can get it?   Eligibility Guidelines for 2018

It is for people whose income is too large to be on Medicaid (known as Medical Assistance, in Minnesota and BadgerCare in Wisconsin), but too low to afford a supplement insurance policy. It is available to certain people who are on Medicare (either due to age or disability).

A.  For participating medical providers other than Essentia Health and St. Luke’s, the income limits are $2,023/month (single) or $2,743/month (couple), and household liquid assets below $50,200.  The value of one house and one car do NOT count towards this asset limit.

B.  For Essentia Health, people with monthly income below $1,608 (single) or $2,165 (couple) can get 100% waiving of the parts not paid by Medicare.  For income below $2,267 (single) or $3,045 (couple), 75% can be waived.  In both cases, there is a liquid asset limit of $25,000 (single) or $50,000 (two or more)

C.  For St. Luke’s, people with monthly income below $1,517 (single) or $2,057 (couple) can get 90% waiving of the parts not paid by Medicare.  For income below $2,023 (single) or $2,743 (couple), 75% can be waived.  In both cases, there is a liquid asset limit of $10,000 (single) or $20,000 (two or more), not counting IRA or 401K amounts up to $100,000.

For households greater than size two, there are higher income limits.

What does Senior Partners Care cost?

There is a program fee of $80 per year per person, which also includes free membership in the Citizens Federation.  When you compare that to the price of a Medicare insurance supplement policy for doctor and hospital, costing over $1,000/year or more PLUS deductibles and co-pays — it makes great sense.

How do I apply?

To get a copy of the Senior Partners Care application, click here.

You can also get the application form, and more information, from the Citizens Federation office. Call us at 218-727-0207. Or, email us at:

If you enroll in Senior Partners care and you go to Essentia Health or St. Luke’s, we will also provide you with a copy of their specific application form.