A pharmacist holding a prescription pills.

Medicare is designed to keep your health care costs low in retirement, and there are additional programs designed for people who need extra assistance. One such program is Extra Help.

Extra Help is a program designed to help individuals enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D) in a variety of ways. The Social Security Administration is charged with administering Extra Help, even though it affects Part D of Medicare.

Read on for an easy-to-understand overview of the Extra Help program, so you can determine if you might qualify for this very valuable benefit and complete an application.

What Can You Save With Extra Help?

Extra Help is estimated to save $5,300 per year for each enrollee. Recipients get help paying monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and copayments for covered prescriptions.

There are four levels of Extra Help, with Level 1 being the highest benefit and Level 4 the lowest benefit. Regardless of the level for which you may qualify, this program will be very valuable to you.
When you receive a notice of qualification, your level of Extra Help will be clearly stated, as well as the specific help paying premium and copayments for generic and brand name drugs.

You do not need to be currently enrolled in a Part D plan to apply for Extra Help, but if approved, your Extra Help assistance will not take effect until you’re enrolled with a Medicare approved prescription drug provider.

A pharmacist talking with an elderly patient.

Why Everyone Should Apply for Extra Help

Medicare enrollment is not a one-and-done operation. Even if you think you may exceed the income limits for Extra Help qualification, you should complete and submit the application for Extra Help.

The worst thing that can happen is you are informed you don’t qualify. But if you fail to apply, you are guaranteed not to qualify.

Let me repeat this is a very valuable program!

The Social Security Administration estimates that only a small percentage of all Americans who qualify for Extra Help have applied. You can apply online or by phone by calling the Social Security Administration at (800)-772-1213.

If you have any questions about the Extra Help program or anything related to your Medicare options, contact Florida Medicare Specialists, and we’ll guide you in the right direction.
No matter what your questions are, we’ll get you the answers you need.

As a dedicated health insurance expert for 46 years (with 12 years focused only on Medicare) in The Sunshine State, Ken Brown is passionate about educating people on the intricacies of health coverage for Florida’s seniors.

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