Do you ever wonder how you can save up to 4 thousand dollars per year for medicare prescription drug costs? Actually, Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. In fact, Extra Help is said to be worth around $4,000 per year.
Meanwhile, what is medicare savings program also helps low-income individuals with some out-of-pocket costs for Medicare. Such as, Medicare Part A and B premiums, deductibles, co-payments, and co-insurance.
It is easy to qualify for Extra Help. First of all, you must receive Medicare, and have limited resources and income. In addition, you must reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia. Read further to know how to save up to 4 thousand dollars per year for medicare prescription drug costs.
Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs
If you have Medicare, then you can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some seniors with limited resources and income may also get Extra Help to pay for Medicare prescription drug plan costs. This includes monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.
Medicare beneficiaries who will receive low income subsidy (LIS) – Extra help for Medications (RX) get assistance in paying for their Part D costs. Also, individuals who become eligible for Extra Help program will not have a Medicare “donut hole“. This refers to the gap in prescription drug coverage. Inzur agents will let you know all about this when you signup for Medicare Part D.
Save Up To 4 Thousand Dollars Per Year For Medicare Prescription Drug Costs
The following are the qualifications you must meet to become eligible for extra help:
- First of all, you must reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
- Your resources must be limited to $14,100 as an individual, or $28,150 for couples who are living together. Further, these resources refer to things such as stocks, bonds and bank accounts. Please note that resources excludes car, home or any life insurance policy.
- Lastly, your annual income must be limited to $18,090 as an individual or $24,360 for married couples who are living together. Actually, even if you have a higher annual income, you can still get some help. Here are some instances where you can still qualify for Extra Help even if you or your spouse has higher income:
- Support other family members who live with you
- Receive earnings from work; or
- Live in Hawaii or Alaska
Resources and Income
So what are the underlying limits to your income and resources?
- Real estate (besides your primary residence)
- Bank accounts including savings, checking, and certificates of deposit
- Stocks and Bonds (including U.S. Savings Bonds)
- Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
- Mutual Funds
- Cash at home or anywhere else
On the other hand, you may have resources that will not qualify. SS does not count the following as resources:
- Primary residence
- personal possessions
- resources you could not easily convert to cash (e.g. home furnishings, jewelry)
- property you need for self-support, such as rental property or land you use to grow produce for home consumption
- Non-business property essential to your self-support
- Life insurance policies
- Burial expenses
- Interest earned on money you plan to use for burial
- Certain other money you are holding is not counted for
nine months, such as:
- Retroactive Social Security or Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) payments;
- Housing assistance;
- Tax advances and refunds related to earned income
tax credits and child tax credits;
- Compensation you receive as a crime victim; and
- Relocation assistance from a state or local
- Retroactive Social Security or Supplemental
You may contact Social Security to know more about resource exclusions.
Annual income must be limited to $18,090 for an individual or $24,360 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you may still be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher and you can still get Extra Help include if you or your spouse:
- Support other family members who live with you
- Have earnings from work or
- Live in Alaska or Hawaii
On the other hand, not all cash payments count as income. SS does not count the following as resources:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps)
- Housing assistance
- Home energy assistance
- Medical treatment and drugs
- Disaster assistance
- Earned income tax credit payments
- Assistance from others to pay your household expenses
- Victim’s compensation payments
- Scholarships and education grants
You may contact Social Security to know more about income exclusions. Indeed, you can save up to 4 thousand dollars per year for medicare prescription drug costs.
How Do You Apply For Extra Help?
It is easy to apply for Extra Help. You just need to completely fill-out the Social Security’s Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Here’s how:
- Apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp;
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to apply over the phone or to request an application; or
- Apply at your local Social Security office.
After submitting your application, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter which lets you know if you qualify for Extra Help. Once you qualify, you may choose a Medicare prescription drug plan. Meanwhile, if you are unable to select a plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will choose for you. Moreover, the sooner you join a plan, the sooner you begin receiving benefits.
If you are not eligible for Extra Help, you may still be able to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan.
Late Enrollment Penalty
There is a penalty when you do not enroll in a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when you are first eligible. You will have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Medicare prescription drug coverage. However, you will not have to pay a penalty if you get Extra Help or another eligible prescription drug coverage.
Also, it is important to know that the Medicare prescription drug plan late enrollment penalty is not the same with Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty. If you fail to enroll in Part B when you are first eligible, you may also have to pay a late enrollment penalty for the whole duration of your Part B coverage. Likewise, you may have to wait to enroll, which delays your Part B coverage.
For more information about Medicare enrollment periods, you may visit www.medicare.gov or call Inzur agents at 1-888-999-0089.
Why it is important to apply online
Online applications for Extra Help is more secure. Most importantly, it offers several advantages. It actually takes you through the process step-by-step with series of self-help screens. Further, the screens tell you all the information you need to complete the application. It also guides you in addressing all your questions. Actually, you can apply from any computer.
Applying online also lets you start and stop at any time during the process. This way, you can leave your application and go back later in case you want to update or complete any required information. Lastly, they make sure to protect all of your personal information.
Preparing for extra help enrollment is easy. First of all, identify the things you own alone, with your spouse, or with someone else, but do not include your home, your vehicles, life insurance policies, burial plots, personal possessions. Also, you must review all of your resources and income. Lastly, gather all the records ahead of time.
Moreover, you will need to protect the following records:
- Statements that show your account balances at banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions
- Investment statements
- Stock certificates
- Tax returns
- Pension award letters and
- Payroll slips
Furthermore, they will need to know information about your spouse’s (married or living together) resources and income.
How to Choose a Specific Plan
There are two tools you can use at www.medicare.gov to help you decide which plan to choose:
Compare Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – This tool will let you find and compare prescription drug plans in your state that meet your personal needs and enroll in the prescription drug plan you select.
Formulary Finder – You may enter information about the specific medications you take and get information to help you find the plans in your state that match your prescription drug needs.
3 Factors To Consider When Comparing Medicare Drug Plan Choices
Coverage – Medicare drug plans will cover generic and brand-name drugs. Most plans will have a formulary, which is a list of drugs covered by the plan. The drugs covered by the plans can change, but the list always must meet Medicare’s requirements.
Cost – Monthly premiums and your share of prescription costs will vary depending on which plan you choose. If you qualify for Extra Help because you have limited resources and income, you will get help with some or all of these costs.
Convenience – Drug plans must contract with pharmacies in your area. Check with the plan to make sure the pharmacies in the plan are convenient for you.
More Information On Extra Help Enrollment
Most of the questions on how to save up to 4 thousand dollars per year for medicare prescription drug costs are about resources and income. If you are married and living with your spouse, they need to know this information about both of you. Family members, caregivers and other third parties can help you complete the application.
For more information about getting Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs, contact Inzur agents at 1-888-999-0089. They can help you determine which is the right plan for you.