Assistance with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

Medicare Prescriptions

Assistance with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

Assistance with Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

Benefits Counselors at TCOG’s Area Agency on Aging help Medicare beneficiaries apply for assistance with prescription drug costs through Social Security’s Extra Help program. For more information, call Janet Karam at 903-813-3581.

Medicare Prescriptions

Medicare beneficiaries often cannot afford prescription drug costs without assistance.

Without knowing help is available, many Medicare beneficiaries forego Medicare Part D plan enrollment when unable to afford prescription drug plan premiums, deductibles and copays. To the detriment of beneficiaries’ health, prescriptions often remain unfilled. Brand name medications for which there are no generics available are especially inaffordable when relying on a limited income. Medicare beneficiaries with limited income who enter the coverage gap, also known as the ‘donut hole’ experience similar difficulties.

Individuals with limited income and resources may be eligible for financial assistance with prescription drug costs. The Part D subsidy for eligible Medicare beneficiaries amounts to an estimated $4000 or more each year.

To qualify for Extra Help, Medicare recipients must have income limited to $17,235 for an individual or $23,265 for a married couple; and resources must be limited to $13,300 and $26,580 respectively. Examples of resources include: bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, IRAs or real estate other than the primary residence.

The Extra Help program is available through the Social Security Administration. In 2014, persons eligible for Extra Help will pay no more than $6.35 for a brand-name medication, and no more than $2.55 for a generic drug. Additionally, premiums and deductibles are either of no cost or are subsidized. Qualifying for Social Security’s Extra Help program enables Medicare beenficiaries to enroll in a Part D plan outside of Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period.

Benefits Counselors at TCOG’s Area Agency on Aging provide Extra Help application assistance via the Social Security website either by phone or during office appointments. For more information for yourself or a family member, call TCOG’s Benefits Counseling program at 903-813-3581.