Extra help for Medicare drug costs

Discussion in 'Financial, Disability and Legal Resources' started by TwoCatDoctors, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    From the Social Security Administration website:

    Apply online for Extra Help with prescription drug costs - It's easier than learning the twist
    SSA Publication No. 05-10525, January 2011

    What is Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs?

    Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with limited resources and income also are eligible for Extra Help to pay for the costs - monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments - related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don't even know it.

    To qualify for Extra Help:
    •You must reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia;
    •Your resources must be limited to $12,640 for an individual or $25,260 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. We do not count your home, car, and any life insurance policy as resources; and
    •Your annual income must be limited to $16,335 for an individual or $22,065 for a married couple living together. Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some help. Some examples where your income may be higher are if you or your spouse:
    ?Support other family members who live with you;
    ?Have earnings from work; or
    ?Live in Alaska or Hawaii.

    How do I apply for Extra Help?

    It is easy to apply for Extra Help. Just complete Social Security's Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Here's how:
    •You can 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 you apply, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify for the Extra Help. Once you qualify, you can choose a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will do it for you. The sooner you join a plan the sooner you begin receiving benefitss.

    Why should I apply online for Extra Help?

    Our online application is secure and offers several advantages. It takes you through the process step by step, with a series of self-help screens. The screens will tell you what information you need to complete the application and will guide you in answering the questions fully. You can apply from any computer at your own pace. You can start and stop at any time during the process, so you can leave the application and go back later to update or complete any of the required information. We are careful to protect your personal information.

    Can State agencies help with my Medicare costs?

    When you file your application for Extra Help, you also can start your application process for the Medicare Savings Programs—State programs that provide help with other Medicare costs. Social Security will send information to your State unless you tell us not to on the Extra Help application. Your State will contact you to help you apply for a Medicare Savings Program.

    These Medicare Savings Programs help people with limited resources and income pay for their Medicare expenses. The Medicare Savings Programs help pay for your Medicare Part B (medical insurance) premiums. For some people, the Medicare Savings Programs also may pay for Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) premiums, if any, and Part A and B deductibles and co-payments.

    How can I get more information?

    For more information about getting Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Social Security representatives are available to help you complete your application.

    If you need information about Medicare Savings Programs, Medicare prescription drug plans, how to enroll in a plan, or to request a copy of the Medicare & You handbook, please visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY, 1-877-486-2048). When you call, you also can request information about how to contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). In addition, you can find your local SHIP contact information in your Medicare handbook or obtain the information online at www.medicare.gov/contacts/organization-search-criteria.aspx.

    FROM: http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10525.html

  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    Medicare prescription drug costs are a big impact on our income for many of us. Please don't allow pride to stop you from applying if you qualify for help. If you're not sure if you fit the guidelines for help, definitely call the Extra Help number at the second paragraph from the lst and find out for sure. It really is tough times and we can use all the help we can get. Many hugs to all.