Phones are gradually becoming a staple part of our day-to-day lives. They are crucial devices that help us remain connected to business acquaintances, family, or friends. As much as phones are crucial to everyone, we can’t overlook the fact that seniors need them more. Cell phones for seniors can literally be defined as lifesavers. From using them for medical emergencies, using them to stay connected, and using them for safety, there are several benefits of cell phones for seniors. Unfortunately, phone services are expensive and not affordable to all seniors. Consequently, the government through the lifeline program offers free phones to all qualifying citizens, senior’s included.
Are you a senior on Medicare who looks forward to getting a free government phone? It’s prudent to state that it’s not so easy to get a free phone for seniors on Medicare. This is because, unlike Medicaid, Medicare is a medical insurance program that is not free of charge. Although it benefits seniors above 65 years, you must pay for it. In fact, Medicare is categorized as a program for mid-range or highly paid seniors. Therefore, being a senior on Medicare does not qualify you for a free government phone. However, there is a way out. To get free phones for seniors on Medicare, you must be a low-income senior or participate in other Government Free programs like Medicaid. Since it’s not a straightforward process to get free phones for seniors on Medicare, we will take you step by step to ease things for you.
What Is Medicare?
Before we go deep on free phones for seniors on Medicare, let’s start with the basics of making sure you know what Medicare is. Medicare is a US government health insurance program that gives health insurance to 65 years and above or people living with disability. Below is everything you need to know about this program.
Why do you need Medicare?
- If you need to cover inpatient services and hospice, you need Medicare part A.
- If you need to cover all your outpatient services and outpatient hospital bills, you need Medicare part B
- You also need Medicare to buy self-administered prescription drugs.
- You also need Medicare to save on the cost of durable and strong medical equipment like wheelchairs, mobility scooters, walkers, or canes.
Do I have to pay Medicare?
As stated above in this guide, Medicare is not free of charge. Therefore, you must pay to get Medicare services. However, Medicare coverage is not always payable in monthly premiums. If you have been working for more than 40 quarters of your lifetime, Medicare coverage has already been deducted from your income taxes.
Does everyone get Medicare?
No. Medicare is not available for everyone. To get Medicare, you must be above 65 years of age. Also, you must have resided in the US legally for more than five years.
If you are a disabled person, you also qualify to get Medicare regardless of your age. However, you should be receiving benefits from social security disability insurance or the Railroad retirement board for at least two years
If you need a kidney transplant or have been getting consistent dialysis for end-stage renal sickness, you also qualify to get Medicare.
What Are The Parts Of Medicare?
Medicare consists of four different parts. There is Medicare part A, B, C, and D.
Part A covers hospice or hospital inpatient services. This includes bills of tests, food, and a private room while admitted to the hospital.
Part B covers a part of services that are not covered by part A. These are outpatient services. These are services like X-Rays, pneumonia vaccinations, influenza, blood transfusion, chemotherapy, physician services, or visiting the nurses.
Part C allows users to select personal plans with the same coverage of services in part A and B. More often, this part also covers part D benefits. However, you must be enrolled for part A and B before qualifying for part C.
Part D covers self-administered drugs.
How Does A Senior Get A Free Phone On Medicare?
You are already aware that Medicare is not a government assistance program. Therefore, being a Medicare member does not automatically qualify you for free cell phones for seniors. Since free cellphones for seniors on Medicare are given through the lifeline program, you must meet lifeline eligibility requirements to get these benefits. Below is how you qualify for free cell phones for seniors on Medicare
Qualifying process for free cell phones for seniors on Medicare?
- You qualify if you are a senior with an income that is below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guideline
- You qualify if you participate in government assistance programs like Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Food distribution program on Indian reservation, Head start, Supplemental security income ( SSI ), Supplemental nutrition assistance program ( SNAP ), Federal public housing assistance ( FPHA ), Supplemental security income ( SSI ) and Medicaid among others.
- Application process for free cell phones for seniors on Medicare
To apply for free cell phones for seniors, you must meet the lifeline eligibility criteria above
- Once you qualify, visit the federal communications commission official website and apply by providing correct personal information like name, date of birth, address, and social security number.
- Attach documents to prove eligibility. This may be your income or program documents. Precisely, your Social Security statement of benefits, Current income statement, and previous year’s Federal, state or tribal return, Medicaid approval letter or Federal public housing assistance award letter.
- Submit the form and wait for approval from the national verifier
- Once approved, select your preferred service provider that gives free cellphones for seniors and get your device shipped for free. Some of the best carriers that [provide free cell phones for seniors on Medicare are assurance wireless, Qlink wireless, safelink wireless, Cintex, and Standup Wireless.
Best Cell Phone Companies That Offer Free Cell Phones For Seniors On Medicare
To start with, there is a myriad of carriers that offer free cell phones for seniors on Medicare. However, it is imperative to note that all these lifeline providers are not available in all states. Therefore, there is a need for you to look out for the carrier that is available in your location and then apply for a Lifeline program from any one of them. Some of the renowned wireless companies that offer free cell phones for seniors on Medicare include:
1. Assurance Wireless
Assurance Wireless is one of the many carriers that participate in the Lifeline program offered by the Federal government. As long as you have a low income or participate in a Government Assistance Program such as Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Federal Public Housing Assistance, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, be sure that you enjoy incredible cheap cell phone plan deals alongside a free phone.
To put this into perspective, you will be able to enjoy unlimited texts, 3GB of data, and 1000 voice minutes. However, these benefits vary from one state to another. Moreso, in some states, you might get more data than others. Once you are eligible to get a free phone, be sure that you will receive mobile phone models such as;
- Kyocera Verve S3150
- Alcatel Cinch
- LG LN280 Aspire
However, the phone you will receive will depend on its availability as one does not always get the phone that he or she actually intended to have. Thankfully, the model that you will get will be able to meet your current communication needs and thus enable you to remain connected.
Currently, Assurance Wireless is available in states such as Kentucky, California, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, Georgia, District of Columbia, Indiana, Kansas, Indiana, New Jersey, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, Oregon, and Minnesota among other states.
2. Q Link Wireless
Besides Assurance Wireless, you can now get a free cell phone for seniors from Qlink Wireless. As we speak, this carrier is one of the fastest-growing providers of the Lifeline program. As long as you are eligible for the Lifeline program, you will not only get a free cell phone but incredible cell phone deals such as unlimited texting, free monthly minutes, and 3GB mobile data. Thankfully, there are a number of free monthly minute plan to choose from. Besides these amazing cell phone plan deals, you will enjoy other features such as:
- Nationwide coverage
- Ability to make both national and international calls.
- No credit checks
- No contracts
- No surcharges
- No fees
- No monthly bills
Some of the cell phone models offered by this carrier include:
If you reside in states such as Georgia, Vermont, Indiana, Missouri, Maine, Oklahoma, and Ohio, be sure that you will enjoy the Lifeline program from this carrier. Besides those states, if you reside in states such as Rhode Island, Idaho, Nevada, Texas, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Vermont, Kentucky, Kansas or Washington, be sure that you will enjoy the Lifeline program of this carrier. In case you refer a customer to this carrier, you will be able to get 100 minutes free of charge.
3. Safelink Wireless
Owned by Tracfone, this carrier offers a free phone to all eligible seniors, thanks to its Lifeline program. Besides this, all eligible individuals will be able to enjoy affordable cell phone plans. To put this into perspective, they will be able to enjoy unlimited text messages, 350 minutes of talk, and 3GB of data on a monthly basis. The carrier also offers nationwide coverage to all its customers, via its 4G LTE networks which is reliable enough.
Other features offered by this carrier include:
- A free SIM card
- Voicemail,3-way calling, and Caller ID
- Bring your own phone program
- Free 911 access
- Free 411 directory assistance
Some of the states where this carrier is available include; Arizona, Connecticut, California, Alabama, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Florida, Indiana, Kansas, Illinois, Georgia, Maryland, Kentucky, Lowa, North Carolina, Utah, Texas, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Michigan, Louisiana, West Virginia, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia among others.
4. Cintex Wireless
Just like the carriers mentioned above, Cintex Wireless is one of the best cell phone service providers that offer free government phones to seniors on Medicare. Besides giving the seniors a free government phone, this carrier offers all eligible customers amazing lifeline plans such as unlimited texts, 1000 free minutes, and 1 gig of data on a monthly basis.
Thankfully, this carrier has listed the kind of phones one can get once he chooses to enjoy the Lifeline program of this carrier. Therefore, you can know the kind of device to expect once your application is approved by the Cintex Wireless team.
Some of the decent models you can get from this carrier include; Samsung Galaxy S8, Samsung Galaxy S9, Apple iPhone 7, Apple iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel 3XL, Google Pixel 4XL, among others. If you reside in states such as West Virginia, Rhode Island, Maine, Arkansas or Maryland, be sure that you will enjoy the Lifeline program of this carrier.
5. StandUp Wireless
Besides the carriers we have mentioned above, you can also apply for a free cell phone for seniors on Medicare from StandUp Wireless. This is because the above-mentioned carrier is one of the reputable cell phone providers that offer Lifeline programs in the US.
Here, you will be able to enjoy unlimited text and 1000 minutes of talk. When it comes to data, this carrier offers 3GB of data free of charge on a monthly basis. The carrier also offers a free Sky Devices government tablet to all eligible customers. Therefore, you will be able to have a device that allows you to perform all phone operations on a bigger screen.
Some of the states where this carrier offers its Lifeline program includes; Arkansas, Indiana, Lousiana, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, California, Lowa, Colorado, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, West Virginia, New York, and Puerto Rico.
6. American Assistance
Also known as American Broadband and Telecommunication, this carrier is one of the most reputable and popular cell phone providers that offer free mobile phones to seniors on Medicare. If you reside in California, be sure that you will not only get a free mobile device but also affordable cell phones services such as free unlimited text and voice. Also, you will get 6GB of data on a monthly basis.
As we speak, this carrier offers a Co-Pay plan that requires you to pay $14.95 per month. Here, you will also be able to get a free mobile phone, unlimited texts, 500 minutes of voice calls, and 4.5GB of mobile data.
Besides residents of California, this carrier services customers residing in states such as Georgia, Indiana, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, South Carolina, Utah, Rhode Island, Kentucky, and Michigan
7. Assist Wireless
To start with, this carrier offers its Lifeline program to eligible customers residing in states such as Arkansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Missouri. If you are eligible for the Lifeline program offered by this carrier, you will get a free phone and discounted cell phone plans. Whether you reside in Tribal lands or not, be sure that you will enjoy these benefits on the go.
However, the plans offered by this carrier are not the same for all states in the US. For example, those who reside in Maryland, Missouri, and Arkansas, are eligible to get free cell phone plans such as 500 texts, 1000 minutes of voice calls, and 50 MB of data. In case you want more data, minutes, or texts, be sure that you will get some at discounted rates. However, you will need to pay for any extra offer you get.
The non-tribal plan in Oklahoma is the same as the one we have outlined above. However, the tribal plan for those residing in Oklahoma is quite different as it has more benefits. These include:
- Unlimited text
- Unlimited talk
- 4.5 GB of mobile data.
Therefore, if you qualify for the Lifeline program as a result of enjoying Tribal programs, be sure that you will reap more benefits.
8. Feelsafe Wireless
If you live in a state or a region where AT&T has good network coverage, you can consider applying for a Lifeline program from Feelsafe Wireless. In case you are eligible for the Lifeline program of this carrier, you will enjoy unlimited talk and text. Additionally, you will enjoy 4GB of high-speed data.
If you are interested in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) as well, you can go ahead and apply for a Lifeline and ACP combo and enjoy more data per month as you will get 15 GB instead of the conventional 4GB of mobile data. As we speak, this carrier is available in 10 states of the US. Some of these states include Kentucky, Mississippi, Michigan, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Ohio. Therefore, there is a need for you to check its availability in your state before you can start the application process.
Key Features To Look For In Senior Friendly Cell Phones
When buying a cellphone for seniors, it should be easy to use. As you know, seniors need nothing complicated in their lives. Besides simplicity, you should look for other features as discussed below:
- Clear and bright display: When getting a phone for seniors, ensure it has a large screen. This is to ensure everything displays clearly on the screen. This makes it easy to read texts or display a dial on the screen.
- Senior-friendly features: An ideal cell phone for seniors should have senior-friendly features like a loud speakerphone for seamless calls. This is so crucial for seniors with hearing loss. Besides, senior phones should have large and easy-to-press keyboard buttons.
- SOS button: This is another key feature to look for in senior-friendly cell phones. For seniors, emergency situations are inevitable. Therefore, a phone with SOS button is important as it helps send emergency alerts when your grandparents are in trouble. Also, it’s important for senior cell phones to have other safety features like GPS and fall detection.
- Simplicity: When buying a cell phone for seniors, ensure that it is designed with simple interfaces that make it easy for seniors to navigate. Clear and large icons for easy navigation.
Can You Get A Free Phone If You Are On Social Security?
Are you wondering what social security is? This is a federal government program in the US that offers financial assistance to already retired individuals. Since social security is a government assistance program, members qualify to get a free cell phone from the government.
Is Verizon Giving Away Free Phones?
Yes. Verizon has amazing deals that give away free phones to its customers. However, these deals favor customers that switch to Verizon and add a new line. Verizon deals give you free phones like Apple iPhone 12, Samsung galaxy A02s, Motorola moto g pure, and Apple iPhone SE.
Can I Get A Free Iphone From The Government?
Yes. Although iPhones are quality and expensive phones, it’s possible to get them for free from the government. However, you must qualify to get a free iPhone from the Government. If you have an income below 135% of the federal poverty guideline, you can get free iPhones like iPhone SE and iPhone 6s from service providers like Cintex wireless and NewPhone wireless.
Is There Any Free Smartphone For Seniors On Medicare?
If you qualify for free cellphones for seniors on Medicare, you don’t have the option to choose the type of phone to get. In fact, it is up to your lifeline service provider to select a phone for you based on availability. Therefore, you can be lucky to get a free smartphone for seniors on Medicare if it’s currently available in stock.