Part D Extra Help

The most readily available assistance program for Medicare is the Part D Extra Help program. This pays for 85% or more of the prescription drug costs that come with Medicare’s Prescription Drug Program (Part D). It is sometimes called the Low Income Subsidy program or LIS.

Extra Help has higher income and asset limits than programs such as the Medicare Savings Programs and Medicaid. LIS offers assistance to beneficiaries by helping them pay a reduced amount for Medicare-covered prescriptions at the pharmacy. A beneficiary can be enrolled in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage. There are different levels of assistance that vary by income and asset levels. The lower the income and resources, the greater the help.

Program Monthly Income Resources What it pays for
Extra Help from Social Security Single: $1,630
Couple: $2,198
Single: $14,790 Couple: $29,520 Reduces Part D premiums, deductibles, copays and eliminates the coverage gap based on income and resource level

Enrollment in Extra Help is done through the Social Security Administration. An application can be submitted online. If you prefer not to fill out the application on the Internet, you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, for a paper application or to make an appointment.

You automatically get Extra Help if you:

  • have both Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or
  • have both Medicare and Medicaid.

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