Effective January 1, 2010, Medicare beneficiaries will have an easier time qualifying for Extra Help Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. Extra Help assists low income people pay the monthly premiums, deductibles and co-payments associated with the Medicare prescription drug plans. Eligibility criteria was changed in 2010 so that:
- the cash value of any life insurance policy you have is no longer counted as a resource, and
- any financial help received from others to pay for household expenses (food, mortgage, rent, heat, electricity, utilities and taxes) is no longer counted as income.
Who qualifies for Extra Help?
Any Medicare beneficiary can get Medicare Part D benefits, but those with limited income and assets may qualify for Extra Help. As of the writing of this post, to qualify for Extra Help the beneficiary must:
- live in in the United States
- your available resources (bank accounts, stock and bonds) must be no more than $12,510 for an individual or $25,010 for a married couple living together.
- your annual income must be no more than $16,245 for an individual or $21,855 for a married couple living together. The income stated above may be higher if you or your spouse support other family members living with you, have pay from work, or if you live in Alaska or Hawaii.
To apply for Extra Help visit www.socialsecurity.gov or apply at your local Social Security office.
Visit the BenefitsCheckupRx website for a thorough analysis of the full range of prescription drug benefit programs that could help you.