What is the Part D Extra Help program?

If you are familiar with Medicare, you know that all of the monthly premiums and yearly deductibles can add up. Fortunately, there are certain programs like the Part D Extra Help Program that can help you keep your coverage while also protecting your wallet. Read on to learn more about the program and how it can help you achieve your health goals.

Costs of Part D

Part D is a part of Medicare offered by different private insurance companies that covers prescription drug coverage. There are a number of different costs associated with Part D. The main costs are the monthly premium, the annual deductible, and the co-payment for each medication. Because Part D is offered by private companies, the premiums and actual costs of the medications depend on the company. On average, the monthly premium in 2019 for Part D was about $40 per month. The monthly premium for Part D depends on your income. If you make more than $87,000 per year or $174,000 if you file jointly, expect to pay more than the average person. In 2021, the annual deductible for Part D is $445. The copayment for each medication depends on the plan and the pharmacy’s formulary.

Subsidy vs. Extra Help Program

Most people who enroll in Part D have also enrolled in Parts A and B. Part A is normally free, but Part B requires a monthly premium. Between Part B, Part D, and any supplement plans that you would like to purchase, you may be looking at 2-3 monthly premiums. Many people find this to be too expensive. This is where the Extra Help Program comes in.

The Extra Help Program, also called the Part D Low Income Subsidy, is a way for people with limited incomes to afford Part D. In order to qualify, you must:

  • Be enrolled in Medicare
  • Have a limited income and resources
  • Be a resident in the 50 States or Washington, D.C.

If you are married and living with your spouse, your combined savings, investments, and real estate cannot be worth more than $29,160 to qualify for Extra Help. If you are not married or living with your spouse, the limit is $14,610. When adding up your resources, you do not need to include your home, vehicles, personal possessions, life insurance, burial plots, burial contracts, or back payments from Social Security.  

You can apply for the Extra Help program through Social Security. It can help you pay for the monthly premium, the yearly deductible, or the copayments. 

For more information on the Extra Help program, contact Temmen Insurance today.

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