Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Period has ended and by now you should have chosen your Medicare Part D prescription plan or Medicare Advantage Plan with prescription drug coverage for 2015. Even with insurance, however, prescription costs can be a struggle for many older adults. Did you know there is help out there to help reduce these costs?
What is Medicare’s “Extra Help With Your Medicare Prescription Drug Plan”
If your resources are limited, Medicare offers assistance to lower your prescription drug costs by as much as $4,000 per year. For an individual to qualify, resources must be limited to $13,400 and income no more than $17,505. For married couples resources are limited to $26,860 and income no more than $23,595. What qualifies as a resource?
– Money in bank accounts
– Cash on hand
– Real estate other than your primary residence
– IRAs (individual retirement accounts)
If you qualify for assistance, in 2015 you can expect to pay $2.65 for generic prescriptions and only $6.60 for brand-name prescriptions. Each September you should receive a notice regarding your eligibility for assistance. Some beneficiaries may be required to apply each year while others may qualify automatically.
You may qualify for help automatically if:
– You have full Medicaid benefits
– Receive SSI (supplemental security income)
– Get help paying your Medicare Part B premiums (from your state Medicaid program)
Where to Apply for Help With Prescription Drug Costs
To apply for this special Medicare program to help lower your prescription drug costs, you can visit your local social security office or check out the online application process at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Do you have questions about Medicare’s prescription assistance program? What other questions can we answer for you?
Wiley Long is founder and president of Medigap Advisors, and is passionate about helping people navigate the confusing waters of Medicare. He is the author of The Medicare Playbook: Designing Your Successful Health Coverage Strategy, a clear and simple explanation so you can make the most of your Medicare coverage. For more information visit www.MediGapAdvisors.com.