Free Cell Phones For Seniors On Medicare: Affordable Access To Communication

Written By: Nathan Justice
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: May 2, 2024
Last updated: May 8, 2024

Various government programs and organizations assist seniors on Medicare to obtain free government phones.

The Lifeline program plays a crucial role in ensuring that low-income households, including seniors, have access to essential communication services.[1]

With the Lifeline program, seniors on Medicare can receive free or low-cost phones from major providers such as Assurance Wireless, SafeLink Wireless, and Q Link Wireless.

Over 81% of seniors who own a smartphone use it to stay in touch with loved ones, which is vital for their mental health and well-being, reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.[2]

Nowadays, a cell phone is essential, not a luxury. For seniors on Medicare, having a cell phone is crucial. It ensures safety, helps with healthcare coordination, and communicates with healthcare professionals.

Free Cell Phones For Seniors On Medicare

But, the cost can be a barrier. Fortunately, some programs provide free cell phones to seniors. This includes:

  • Lifeline Assistance Program
  • Assurance Wireless
  • SafeLink Wireless
  • Veterans Affairs (VA) Phone Program
  • ReachOut Wireless

The aim is to give seniors access to phones without financial strain.

Lifeline Assistance Program

Lifeline offers discounted phone service to eligible low-income individuals. It is a federal program helping seniors stay connected without high costs.


  • Seniors must be on Medicare or meet income guidelines of 135% or less of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Participation in certain federal assistance programs like Medicaid also qualifies.


  • Provides a monthly discount on phone service, either landline or wireless.
  • Some providers offer a free cell phone along with the service.

How to Apply

  • Seniors can apply through an approved Lifeline service provider.
  • The application involves verifying Medicare enrollment or income level.
  • Once approved, seniors choose their preferred phone service and apply the discount.
How To Apply For Lifeline

Assurance Wireless

Assurance Wireless is part of the Lifeline Assistance program. It offers free wireless services to eligible low-income individuals, including seniors on Medicare.


Eligibility includes being on Medicare, receiving Medicaid, or meeting state-specific income criteria.


  • Assurance Wireless provides a free smartphone. It includes free monthly data, unlimited texting, and voice minutes.
  • Additional benefits may include call waiting, caller ID, and access to 911.

How to Apply

  • Seniors can apply on the Assurance Wireless website or by mailing in an application form.
  • Seniors must verify their eligibility through documentation by Medicare or other programs.
  • Once approved, seniors receive their free phone and start the service.

SafeLink Wireless

SafeLink Wireless is another participant in the Lifeline Assistance program. This provides free mobile phone services to eligible low-income individuals, including seniors.


  • Seniors must be part of Medicare or qualify through Medicaid, SSI, or TANF programs.
  • Income eligibility depends on falling at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level.


  • SafeLink Wireless offers a free smartphone to eligible participants.
  • The service plan includes free monthly data, unlimited texting, and a certain number of voice minutes.
  • Extra perks may include voicemail, caller ID, and no contracts.

How to Apply

  • Fill out the application online via the SafeLink Wireless website. You can also contact their customer service to request a paper application.
  • Applicants must provide proof of eligibility, such as a Medicare card.
  • Upon approval, SafeLink Wireless ships the phone to the senior. They will also include service activation instructions.

Veterans Affairs (VA) Phone Program

Veterans Affairs (VA) Phone Program

The Veterans Affairs Phone Program provides communication support to eligible veterans. This program aims to enhance their access to VA services. It also helps improve their quality of life through better communication.


  • Veterans must be part of the VA healthcare system.
  • Eligibility also depends on service-connected disabilities, income level, or receiving other VA benefits.


  • The program often includes a discounted or free cell phone service.
  • Veterans may receive a phone with data, text, and calling plans suited to their needs.
  • Extra benefits include easy access to VA telehealth services and emergency response features.

How to Apply

  • Veterans can apply through their local VA office or via the VA website.
  • The application process requires proof of veteran status, such as a DD214 or VA healthcare enrollment confirmation.
  • After approval, veterans will receive their phones.

ReachOut Wireless

ReachOut Wireless is part of the federal Lifeline Assistance program. It offers discount phone services to eligible low-income individuals, including seniors and veterans.

The aim is to improve communication access for everyone, regardless of their financial situation.


  • Participants must qualify through enrollment in government assistance programs such as Medicaid.
  • Seniors on Medicare who meet certain income criteria can also qualify.
  • Applicant's income be at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Level.


  • ReachOut Wireless provides a free or discounted mobile phone.
  • Eligible users receive a monthly allotment of minutes, text messages, and data.
  • Some plans may offer features like caller ID, voicemail, and emergency service access.

How to Apply

  • You can submit applications online through the ReachOut Wireless website.
  • Applicants must provide proof of eligibility, such as enrollment documentation in Medicaid. You can also submit a proof of income.
  • The company will mail the mobile device to the applicant once they approve the request.

Enhancing Connectivity for Seniors

These programs support seniors on Medicare by allowing access to free or discounted cell phones. They help maintain safety, healthcare management, and social connections without financial burden.

Discover affordable mobile plans and solutions tailored for seniors with Tracfone in this Senior Strong blog.

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Nathan Justice manages community outreach programs and forums that help many senior citizens. He completed a counseling program at the University of Maryland’s Department of Psychology.
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