Prescription drugs are expensive for seniors
The average adult over 65 takes 14 to 18 prescription medications in a year. That’s incredibly expensive!
The Extra Help program helps pay for prescription costs
Social Security has a program called Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Costs. It helps pay for costs related to a Medicare prescription drug plan.
Seniors could get an extra $4000 per year through the Extra Help program. That really does help!
People who qualify will have low or no annual deductible, low or no monthly premiums, no “doughnut hole” coverage gap, and will pay much less for prescriptions. In 2015, most people who qualify pay less than $2.65 for generic and less than $6.60 for brand drugs.
Who qualifies for Extra Help
To qualify for Extra Help, seniors must:
- Be on Medicare
- Live in one of the 50 states or in the District of Columbia
- Have resources (like bank accounts, stocks, bonds) less than $13,640 (individual) or $27,250 (married couple)
- Have annual income less than $17,655 (individual) or $23,895 (married couple)
Even if your senior’s annual income is higher, they may still be able to qualify for some help. Try applying or talk with a Social Security representative.
Some seniors are automatically qualified for Extra Help
In some cases, older adults are automatically qualified for the Extra Help program.
Seniors who have Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicare and Medicaid will automatically get the extra help. They don’t even need to apply!
How to apply for the Extra Help program
There are three ways to apply for Extra Help.
- Apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp
- Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to apply over the phone or to request an application
- Apply at your local Social Security office
After you apply, Social Security will review the application. Your senior will get a letter to let them know if they qualify and, if they do, what to do next to start getting benefits.
Get back some of what was already spent
Once they’re in the Extra Help program, some older adults might even be able to get back part of what they already spent on prescriptions since they qualified.
Keep the receipts and call the plan or contact Medicare’s Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition (NET) Program at 1-800-783-1307 to find out more.
Many seniors have limited resources and struggle to pay their expenses, but there are many government programs that can help.
It’s well worth the time to investigate and apply for programs like Extra Help. It could mean thousands of extra dollars for your senior each year!
By DailyCaring Editorial Staff