Caregivers Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1. What are the available government assistance programs in New Jersey?

A. Medicare
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) administers Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance program, which covers nearly 40 million Americans. Medicare is health insurance for the following:

  • People 65 or older

  • People under 65 with certain disabilities

  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

The Different Parts of Medicare
The different parts of Medicare help cover specific services:

Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance)
Helps cover inpatient care in hospitals
Helps cover skilled nursing facility, hospice, and home health care

Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance)
Helps cover doctors' services, hospital outpatient care, and home health care
Helps cover some preventive services to help maintain your health and to keep certain illnesses from getting worse

Medicare Part D (Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage)
A prescription drug option run by Medicare-approved private insurance companies
Helps cover the cost of prescription drugs
May help lower your prescription drug costs and help protect against higher costs in the future
Medicare Advantage Plans (like an HMO or PPO) are health plan

B. Medicaid
Medicaid provides health insurance to parents/caretakers and dependent children, pregnant women, and people who are aged, blind or disabled. These programs pay for hospital services, doctor visits, prescriptions, nursing home care and other health care needs, depending on what program a person is eligible for.

C. Additional Programs
New Jersey State Department of Health and Senior Services offers an array of assistance programs to meet the needs of a diverse community. Please log onto for a complete listing.

Question 2. What are the qualifications?

Medicare is health insurance for the following:

  • People 65 or older

  • People under 65 with certain disabilities

  • People of any age with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant)

To be eligible for New Jersey Medicaid, a person must:

  • Be a resident of New Jersey

  • Be a U.S. Citizen or qualified alien (most immigrants who arrive after August 22, 1996 are barred from Medicaid for five years, but could be eligible for NJ FamilyCare and certain programs for pregnant women)

  • Meet specific standards for financial income and resources

In addition, a person must fall into one of the following categories:

Within New Jersey Medicaid there are also a number of special programs designed to meet the specific medical needs of certain groups of people who would not otherwise qualify for the program. These include:

The Division of Disability Services in the Department of Human Services administers waiver programs for the aged and people with disabilities. See a complete list of programs for the aged and disabled.

Question 3. How do I apply for each?

Initial Enrollment
If you are already getting Social Security benefits, you will automatically receive the Initial Enrollment Period Package by mail 3 months before you become eligible. The Initial Enrollment Period Package will only be mailed to you if it is applicable to your situation and will not be mailed out to everyone. For further information, please contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY uses should call 1-800-325-0778.

General Enrollment Period
If you didn't sign up for Medicare Part B when you first became eligible, you may be able to sign up during the General Enrollment Period. This period runs from January 1 through March 31 of each year. During this time, you can sign up for Medicare Part B at your local Social Security office. If you get benefits from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), call your local RRB office or 1-877-772-5772. Your Medicare Part B coverage will start on July 1 of the year you sign up.

New Jersey residents should apply through county Board of Social Services. These numbers are as follows:

Somerset County residents:
Somerset County Board of Social Services
Central Office:
73 East High Street
Somerville, NJ 08876

Field Office:
610 Franklin Boulevard
Somerset, NJ 08873

Field Office:
391-D Somerset Street
North Plainfield, NJ 07060

Middlesex County residents:
Middlesex County Board of Social Services
181 How Lane
New Brunswick, NJ 08903

Morris County residents:
Office of Temporary Assistance
Main Office
PO Box 900
340 West Hanover Avenue
Morris Township, NJ 07963

8 South Morris Street
Dover, NJ 07869

Union County residents:
Union County Division of Social Services
342 Westminster Avenue
Elizabeth, NJ 07208