What Is the Medicare Extra Help Program?


Quick Answer

The Medicare Extra Help program assists those with limited income and resources in paying for the premiums, deductibles and copayments of their Medicare part D prescription drug plan. Medicare recipients can apply for the Extra Help program online at SocialSecurity.gov, by phone or in person at a Social Security office.

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Full Answer

To apply online for the Medicare Extra Help program, go to the SocialSecurity.gov main page, select Benefits in the toolbar at the top of the page, click on Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Costs under Apply, and then click on Apply for Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs. Click on Apply Now under What Do You Want to Do or Find Out If You Qualify under Not Sure If You Should Use This. Be sure to have information ready such as your Social Security number, bank statements, payroll slips and tax returns and other details of your income and resources.

To be eligible for the Medicare Extra Help program, people must be residents of the United States and enrolled in Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B or both. Additionally, the value of their total assets such as real estate, investments and savings must not total more than $13,640 for singles or $27,250 for couples as of 2015. Resources such as a primary home, vehicles, life insurance, personal possessions and burial arrangements do not count as eligible assets. Those receiving Medicaid or Supplementary Security Income in addition to Medicare do not need to apply, as they already receive extra help.

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