What is Extra Help?
The Medicare Extra Help program, also known as the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program, is issued by the Social Security Administration to help pay for Medicare prescription drug costs, premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. The amount of help you receive depends upon your income and resources, but Extra Help is estimated to be worth up to $5,000 a year.
If you qualify for the program, your prescription costs will be no more than $4.15 for each generic drug and $10.35 for each brand-name covered drug when you are covered under a Medicare Part D plan.
Do I Qualify for Medicare Extra Help?
You automatically qualify for Extra Help if you receive Medicaid coverage, are enrolled in a state-sponsored Medicare Savings Program, or get Supplemental Social Security benefits. You may also be eligible if your:
- Income is no more than $20,385 per year ($27,464 for a married couple). Payments that do not count toward your total income include food stamps, housing assistance, disaster assistance, scholarships, and/or education grants.
- Resources total no more than $15,510 ($30,950 for a married couple). Resources that count toward your total include savings and checking accounts, stocks, and/or bonds. Items such as your house, car, and/or furniture do not.
The cutoff amounts differ if you are caring for dependents or if you live in Alaska or Hawaii.
How Do I Apply for a Low Income Subsidy?
You can apply for a low include subsidy by following three steps:
- Find out if you are eligible by using the Extra Help Calculator.
- Contact the Social Security Administration by phone or fill out the necessary forms online.
- If you need assistance, get in touch with a licensed insurance agent who can walk you through the process.
If you are automatically eligible for Extra Help, either do to your Medicaid enrollment or other qualifying program, you do not need to apply in order to receive the benefits of a low-income subsidy.
Get Help With Eligibility At No Cost To You
Over 50% of those who apply for Extra Help are approved, so it’s important to see if you qualify. Use the HealthMarkets Extra Help Calculator to find out if you could be saving on your Part D premiums and prescription drug costs.