Extra Help Program may Benefit Low Income
Medicare Part D Participants
October 22nd 2005
Extra Help For
There may be benefits to the
Medicare Part D drug coverage program. Because of the out-of-pocket
costs with the new Medicare prescription program Part D, Medicare has
already sent letters to people who might be eligible for financial
The extra assistance program is
called “Extra Help”. If your resources are less than $11,500 (single)
or $23,000 (married) you may qualify for extra help paying for Medicare
Prescription Drug Coverage. You can fill out an
online application for Extra Help.
The financial assistance available
through Extra Help is for low and moderate income individuals. Medicaid
eligible individuals on Medicare can receive the benefits if they apply
for “Extra Help”.
There will be no monthly premiums or
annual deductibles and co-pays are very low. For generic drugs the
co-pay is $1 and the co-pay for brand name drugs is $3. The maximum out
of pocket cost is $3,600. After the $3,600 is reached, Medicare will pay
all drug costs.
There are other out of pocket
programs for levels of “poverty”. A 1 person household earning less
than $798 per month is considered poverty while a 2 person household
earning less than $1,070 is considered impoverished.
Other out-of-pocket programs exist
for beneficiaries above 135% of the poverty level with assets below
$6,000 for a single person and $9,000 for a couple. The co-pays for
this program are $2 and $5 for generics and name brands respectively.
There is another program for
beneficiaries below 150 percent of the poverty level with assets of
$11,500 and $23,000 for single and couples respectively. The monthly
premium is based on a sliding scale and there is a $50 deductible.
After the deductible the beneficiary pays 15% of the cost up to $5,100.
After the $5,100 is reached the beneficiary pays $2 and $5 for generics
and name brand drugs respectively.
Plan D, according Dan Rohan a
columnist for Senior Focus, this is a good plan if you spend less than
$2200 per year or more than $5,100 per year on prescription plan.
A list of
Poverty Guidelines with levels is available at Medicare. This chart
is used for all the states except
Hawaii. If you click on the links and they do not load it is
probably because you do not have a pdf reader. This can be found for
By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication Staff Writer
Keywords and misspellings: Medicare Medecare
Medicair Medicaire plan d