With so many moving parts, Medicare plans and health insurance coverage can be quite confusing. While we’ve already covered the 2019 changes to Medicare Part D, understanding the Medicare Extra Help Program could help you afford your prescriptions in 2019.
What Is the Medicare Extra Help Program?
Anyone who qualifies for Medicare can get Medicare Part D Drug Coverage, but some people with limited resources and income may qualify for additional financial resources through the Medicare Extra Help Program. This program serves as supplemental prescription help for the people who need it most.
What Does Medicare Extra Help Cover?
The Medicare Extra Help Program is estimated to be worth an additional $4,900 per year, on top of the regular Medicare Part D Drug Coverage. Extra Help can cover costs including monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and even prescription co-payments.
How Do I Qualify for Medicare Extra Help Coverage?
To qualify for Medicare Extra Help, you must meet financial need requirements, which are based on your income, savings, investments, and real estate holdings outside of your home. You must meet both a resource and an income limit in order to qualify for Extra Help.
What is the Extra Help Resource Limit?
While there are many resource variables to consider, people generally qualify for Extra Help when their annual resources are limited to $14,390 for an individual or $28,720 for a married couple who lives together. Resources include outside real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs, and any additional cash outside of a bank account.
What is the Extra Help Income Limit?
In addition to meeting the resource limit, you must also have an annual income limited to $18,735 for an individual or $25,365 for a cohabitating married couple to qualify for Extra Help. That said, you may still be eligible to receive Extra Help with a higher annual income if you support additional family members, have earnings from work, or live in Alaska or Hawaii. It’s also important to note that some payments, including food stamps, housing assistance, and earned income tax credit payments do not count as income, so receiving this assistance does not prevent you from eligibility.
How to Get Help with Prescription Drug Costs Without Extra Help?
Simplefill prescription assistance can often help people who are having a difficult time affording their medication(s). This includes uninsured, privately insured and Medicare patients. If you suffer from a chronic disease like cancer, HIV, diabetes, high blood pressure, or depression and are having trouble affording your prescriptions for any reason at all, start an application online or call us at 1.877.386.0206. A Simplefill Advocate will respond within 24 hours.