Medicare Extra Help: How To Get Assistance Paying For Medicare Part D Medications

Medicare Extra Help Program

Medicare Extra Help: How To Get Assistance Paying For Medicare Part D Medications

The Medicare Extra Help is a program that low-income seniors should definitely be familiar with. This federal program helps struggling seniors to save money each month on their medication expenses. 

In this article, we will discuss the Extra Help program, who qualifies, and how you can apply for the program. 

How The Medicare Extra Help Program Can Help You

This program can help you to save money each month on the costs of your prescriptions. The federal government created this program to provide seniors who are on a fixed income with assistance paying for their medications each month. 

What is the Medicare Extra Help Program? 

The Extra Help program (sometimes referred to as the Low Income Subsidy LIS)  is a federal program that is managed by the Social Security Administration. 

The main goal of this program is to help low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay for prescription drugs. This is done by the Extra Help Program covering the cost of a prescription drug plan. The Low-Income Subsidy is essentially like receiving help paying for a Medicare Part D plan. 

Qualifications for Medicare Extra Help Program 

To qualify for the Low-Income Subsidy you must meet the following requirements

  • You have Medicare Part A and or Medicare Part B
  • LIve in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
  • As of 2020, you combined savings, investments and real estate are less than $29,160 if you are married or living with your spouse. 
  • Your income is below $14,610 if you are not married or living with a spouse
  • You do not have to count your home, vehicles, personal possessions, life insurance, burial plots, burial contracts, or back payments from Social Security of SSI in those figures. 
  • If your income exceeds the previous figures you may not qualify for Extra Help, however, you still can purchase a Medicare Part D prescriptions plan to help with the costs of medications
  • If you receive Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you should automatically qualify for the program
  • Should have both Medicare and Medicaid (dual-eligible) you should also qualify for the low-income subsidy

How to Apply For Medicare Extra Help

To apply for the Low-Income Subsidy you have two options: 

  1. Visit the Social Security Administration website to complete the Extra Help application online
  2. Contact Social Security at 800.772.1213 to apply by phone

What Happens After You Submit Your Extra Help Application? 

Social Security will review your application and then with the help of the IRS verify your income to ensure that you meet eligibility. 

If you qualify for the Medicare Extra Help Program you will need to select a Medicare-approved prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, then the Center for Medicare Services will pick a plan for you. 


If you are familiar with Medicare Part D, think of the Extra Help as a program that helps you with the cost of a prescription drug plan. 

Extra Help or the Low-Income Subsidy helps low-income seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries with the cost of their medications. 

If you are considered low income you can apply for the Low-Income Subsidy by visiting the Social Security Administration website or by calling them at 800.772.1213

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