What is Medicare Part D Extra Help?

Q: What is Medicare Part D Extra Help?

A: Part of the Medicare prescription drug (Part D) program, the Extra Help low income subsidy can help pay for parts of Part D monthly premiums, annual deductibles and co-payments. If on Medicare, people receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or medical assistance are automatically eligible for Extra Help. Estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year, you must be enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan to receive this Extra Help.

To apply, you must have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) and live in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia. Applications can be completed at any time of the year. An easy way to apply for the Extra Help is through Social Security  online at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp/.

To qualify for the Extra Help, people must be receiving Medicare and have income limited to $17,235 for an individual or $23,265 for a married couple living together. Even if annual income is higher than these amounts, some help might still be possible if you support other family members who live with you, have earnings from work or live in Alaska or Hawaii. Resources are limited to $13,300 for an individual or $26,580 for a married couple living together. Resources include things such as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds but not your house or car.

Learn more or apply for Extra Help at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp/, by calling the SSA national number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or at your local office.

Applying for the Part D, prescription drug Extra Help low income subsidy does not enroll a person in a Medicare prescription drug plan. Social Security personnel cannot provide help you choose a prescription drug plan. More about Medicare prescription drug plans is at www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).

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