Extra Help

stock-photo-doctor-preparing-online-internet-prescription-selective-focus-62078380You May Qualify for Big Savings on Your Prescription Drugs 

Extra Help (also known as the Low-Income Subsidy) is available for those who meet certain income and resource limits. If you are eligible, Extra Help can mean significant cost savings on your prescription drugs.

Nearly 2 million people who qualify for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs have yet to sign up. If you qualify for Extra Help you can enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan at any time and pay no late enrollment penalty.

[info_box]To determine if you or someone you know is eligible: Visit BenefitsCheckUp.org or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213/1-800-325-0778(TTY).[/info_box]

Your eligibility if you previously applied and qualified for Extra Help:

If you are currently receiving Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug costs Social Security may contact you to review your eligibility for Extra Help next year. If you were selected for a review, Social Security, beginning in late August, sent you a form to complete. It is called “Social Security Administration Review of Your Eligibility for Extra Help” (Form SSA-1026). You must complete and return this form in 30 days even if there are no changes to your income and resources.

Any changes to the Extra Help you get will be effective in January 2011 unless you report a change in your marital status or marital living arrangements. Those changes are effective the month after they are reported. If you were not selected for a review, you will not receive a letter from Social Security and the amount of Extra Help you get won’t change.

For more information about Extra Help with your Medicare prescription drug plan costs call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

Your Eligibility for Extra Help If You Automatically Qualified in 2011

You will automatically qualify for Extra Help in 2012 if you:

– Receive both Medicare and Medicaid;
– Have your Medicare Part B premiums paid by your state because you belong to a Medicare Savings Program; or
– Receive both Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

If you no longer automatically qualify for Extra Help, you will receive a letter from Medicare by the end of September 2011. However, it is important to remember that you may still qualify for Extra Help. The letter from Medicare has an enclosed Social Security application for Extra Help.

If you have limited income and resources, you should complete the application and return it to Social Security in the postage-paid envelope provided. You also can apply online at www.socialsecurity.gov or www.BenefitsCheckUp.org. If you do not apply right away, the Extra Help you receive now could end on January 1, 2012. Act Quickly!

For help completing the application for Extra Help, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY1-800-325-0778) or www.AccesstoBenefits.org to see if there is an Access to Benefits Coalition in your community.

If you believe the letter you received from Medicare is a mistake, you should call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY1-877-486-2048).