I recently wrote about getting help with the Medicare Part B premium and drug costs. These programs are called the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) and the Low Income Subsidy (LIS). Medicare beneficiaries with income below $1,313 per month (individual) or $1,765 (married couple) can apply for help through their state Medicaid office. But people with slightly higher income than this can apply for help with their drug costs through SSA.gov, and I did not include this in my last post.
A Medicare beneficiary with monthly income above $1,313, but less than $1,436 can go to SSA.gov and apply for “Extra help” for their Part D drug costs. A married couple living on more than $1,745 per month, but less than $1,939 can also get help with their Part D premium and their drug costs.
People in these income brackets will get the following benefits depending on where they fall in the income range:
Sliding scale reductions of their Part D monthly premium
$65 annual deductible in their Part D plan (rather than $325 in some plans)
15% co-insurance for their drugs (rather than $40 or $90 co-pays that are built into most Part D plans)
***Social Security does have asset limits, which are $13,300 for an individual and $26,580 for a married couple.
In my last post I recommended that people go through their state Medicaid office to get help, but people in this income bracket cannot go through their state. They can only go through Social Security.
Last year I was talking to a client who told me she could not afford an expensive pain medication her doctor had prescribed. I asked her what her monthly income was and we determined she would not qualify for help through the state of Arizona – but I suggested she try using the Extra Help application on SSA.gov.
She called me two weeks later to say she had received a letter from Social Security telling her she qualified for LIS. She was thrilled that she would be able to take the expensive medication that really helped her.
Before working with this client, I was not aware of this highest income bracket that qualifies for help through Social Security. That’s because this income bracket is not on the state form (AHCCCS for Arizona) that is used to apply for the Medicare Savings Program.
Here is a link to the AHCCCS form to apply for the Medicare Savings Program. http://www.azahcccs.gov/applicants/Downloads/ApplicationForms/de-103.pdf