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About ‘Extra Help’, the Federal Program that Helps Participants Pay for Medicare Part D

About 'Extra Help', the Federal Program that Helps Participants Pay for Medicare Part D

Many Medicare Part D participants on fixed incomes face difficult decisions about money and spending. There are benefits and programs available, such as the federal Extra Help program, that can help qualifying participants pay for Medicare prescription drug costs. The Social Security Administration and Medicare work together to assist participants with the Extra Help program.

Extra Help program benefits for eligible participants

According to the Social Security Administration, participants who qualify for the federal Extra Help program could save up to <$4,000> a year in costs for their Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. The program makes it possible for participants to pay:

  • Nothing or a very low amount for monthly premiums for Medicare Part D.
  • Nothing or a very low amount for yearly deductible for prescription medications.
  • Nothing or very low copayments or coinsurance for prescriptions.

Also, participants who are eligible for Extra Help can enroll in Medicare Part D at any time without paying any late enrollment penalties.

To be eligible for Extra Help, most participants' annual income and financial resources (including savings accounts, IRA accounts, stocks, and bonds) are limited to the levels described on the Extra Care website

There are some exceptions, and some people with higher incomes might qualify for Extra Help . That is why many organizations that provide assistance with government benefit issues encourage people to contact Social Security even if their incomes are higher than the eligibility limit.

Learn more

Online resources that offer information about Medicare Part D and the Extra Help program include Medicare.gov.


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