What is Extra Help?
If you have Medicare and you’re struggling to pay for your prescription medications every month there is some help that’s available! Medicare has a program call Extra Help or LIS (low income subsidy).
This is Medicare Part D Prescription drug cost assistance for those who qualify with income and resources below the eligibility thresholds. These threshold limits can change every year. I’ll show you where to find those income limits in just a few minutes.
Many Medicare beneficiaries qualify for Extra help and don’t even know it, so it’s really worth looking into.
Benefits of The Extra Help Program
Extra Help reduces your monthly drug plan premium, co-pays and deductibles and is estimated to be worth about $5000 per year! There’s no Coverage Gap or Donut Hole to worry about with Extra Help. And you also get a waiver of any Late enrollment penalty for Part D, if you had not signed up when you were first eligible.
How to Qualify
How do you qualify for Extra Help? You must have Medicare Part A and/or Medicare Part B. You must reside in one of the 50 states or DC, and you must join a Medicare Part D drug plan.
For the qualifying resource limits, Medicare does not count your home primary residence, a car, or insurance policies. What will count is cash and bank accounts, real estate outside of your primary residence, stocks, bonds, Mutual funds and IRA’s.
How to Apply
You can apply for Extra Help through Social Security online, by phone, in person, or you can request a paper application and send it in by mail.
The website where you can go to apply online for Extra Help is ssa.gov. The application takes about 10 minutes to complete.
In the middle of the page you’ll see the updated asset thresholds to qualify. If you think you qualify then you can click on Apply Now at the bottom of the page and proceed to complete the application.
After you submit the application, you’ll get a letter in the mail from Social Security. This takes about 3-4 weeks and the letter will let you know if you’re approved for the Program and the effective date.
Reapplying For Extra Help
If you’re approved for the program then you may or may not need to re-apply for it each year. Social Security will notify you by mail if you need to re-apply.
If you have Medicaid or SSI, this gives you automatic eligibility for Extra help. You don’t have to re-apply every year. If you don’t have Medicaid or SSI, then Social Security can periodically review your Eligibility for the Extra Help program. This is to make sure you’re still eligible to keep receiving the benefits. The reviews take place usually at the end of August.
You may receive a form in the mail called Review of Your Eligibility for Extra Help. You’ll have 30 days to complete it and send it back. However, if you don’t send it back, then your benefits will stop the following year.
Social security will mail you a letter with the review decision. However, if they don’t select you for any review then there will be no change to your benefits.
We’ve helped many of our clients apply for Extra Help and other Medicare Savings programs.
If you have any questions please call (800) 783 – 5901 or email us Info@usamedicareplan.com. Our service is 100% free and we’re happy to help you.