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May 27, 2013
The financial strain of retirement can make many Medicare options unaffordable for seniors. However several government and community based Medicare extra help programs are available to provide assistance. You are probably aware of the extra help Medicaid provides you but may not realize that other extra help Medicare programs are available. In fact, approximately one third of all beneficiaries receive Medicare Extra Help to reduce Medicare out of pocket expenses.
Many individuals receive assistance with Texas Medicare Part D drug costs through the Medicare "Extra Help" program, also known as the "Low Income Subsidy". If you are enrolled in this program you may receive assistance with the premiums, deductibles, and copays for your Medicare Part D plan. The Extra Help program will also provide help with the cost of your prescription drugs. With Medicare Part D Extra Help, your prescriptions will cost anywhere from $1.10 to $2.40 for generic drugs and $3.20 to $6.00 for brand-name drugs, depending on your income.
You may be automatically eligible for this Extra Help program if you are a Texas Medicaid beneficiary, receive Supplemental Security Income, or are covered by one of the Medicare Savings Programs. To qualify you must reside in one of the 50 states and have an annual income of less than $16,335 for an individual and $22,065 for a couple. There is also a limit on your resources that does not include your home but does include your savings and stocks. You may be eligible to receive Medicare Extra Help even if your income is above the limit. If your income is 150% below the federal poverty level and you are not automatically eligible for the Medicare Extra Help program, you may apply through the Social Security Administration.
There are also other programs that offer extra help with Medicare Part D costs that are available through various states and pharmaceutical companies. These programs offer extra help with Medicare drug costs to individuals of various income levels. You can visit the Pharmaceutical Assistance Program, the State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program, and the Benefits Checkup website for additional information on extra help with Medicare drug costs. Your local council on aging and other community based organizations may have additional information on extra help with Medicare as well.
If you feel that Medicare benefits are out of your price range you should look into the variety of Medicare Part D Extra Help programs that offer assistance. With the number of programs that offer extra help with Medicare Part D costs that are available to people of various income levels, you can probably find the type of extra help with Medicare you need.
Medicare has neither approved nor endorsed this information.