Extra Help with Medicare
Prescription Drug Plan Costs

People with Medicare who have limited income and resources may qualify for extra help to pay for the monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and co-payments related to the Medicare Prescription Drug plan. The Extra Help program is estimated to $4,000 per year.

To qualify for Extra help:

  • You must have Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance);
  • Live live in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.
  • Your combined savings, investments, and real estate are not worth more than $13,820 if you are not married or not living with your spouse, $27,600 if you are married and living with your spouse.
  • Your annual income must be $18,090 for an individual or $24,360 for a married couple living together. You may still qualify for assistance if your income is higher.

To determine if you are eligible for Extra Help, Social Security needs information about your (and your spouse's, if married and living together) income and resources. Documents that may help you prepare include:

  • Social Security card;
  • bank account statements, including checking, savings, and certificates of deposit
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA), stocks, bonds, savings bonds (including book entry securities*), mutual funds, other investment statements;
  • tax returns;
  • payroll slips; and
  • your most recent Social Security benefits award letters or statements for Railroad Retirement benefits, Veterans benefits, pensions and annuities.

For additional information, visit www.ssa.gov/medicare/prescriptionhelp/ or call our Care1st Special Programs Retention Unit at 1-844-378-4181, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

To apply for Extra Help, you may:

  • Visit your local Social Security office.
  • Call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to apply over the phone, schedule an appointment or to request a paper application. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
  • Go online at secure.ssa.gov/i1020/start
  • Call our Care1st Special Programs Retention Unit at 1-844-378-4181, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Once you apply, you will receive an approval letter from Social Security letting you qualify to receive "Extra Help". You will be required to enroll into a Medicare Prescription drug plan.

NOTE: If your application is approved, you are required to enroll into a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will select a plan for you. The sooner you join a plan, the sooner you begin receiving benefits. To enroll into a prescription drug plan or for information about prescription drug plans in your area, call 1-800-633-4227 (TTY 1-877-486-2048) or visit www.medicare.gov..

If Social Security believes you do not qualify for Extra Help, you will receive a Pre-decisional notice. After receiving the notice, you have will have 10 days to visit your local Social Security office or contact them at 1-800-772-1213 to provide additional information.