Extra Help for Medicare is a program designed to help lower income individuals afford their prescriptions. The Extra Help for Medicare program was formerly known as Low Income Subsidy (LIS), but as the plan evolved the name changed.
The Extra Help for Medicare plan is not automatically given to the individual based on their reported income. This plan must be applied for directly and the applicant must meet all of the qualifications. If qualified, you will receive assistance in paying your drug plan premium, co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles. If you switch drug coverage plans during a period not considered open enrollment, the Extra Help for Medicare plan will eliminate any penalties that you may incur.
For a single person to qualify for Extra Help for Medicare they must have a yearly income of less than $16,245.00 and have assets valued at less than $12,510.00. Your assets will not include set aside expenses for burial of up to $1,500.00, home, car or any life insurance policies. For couples the income cannot exceed $21,855.00 with assets not exceeding $25,010.00. If you are covered by Medicaid, receive state assistance to cover your Medicare Part B payments or receive Social Security Supplemental Income (SSI) you will automatically qualify for the Extra Help For Medicare program. Income guidelines are different for Hawaii and Alaska, residents of these areas will need to verify the income brackets through their state Department of Insurance.
Currently the program is funded and will remain a part of the Medicare program. The Extra Help for Medicare program is expected to remain an integral part of Medicare because of the record number of citizens that are about to enter the system.