Help for Those on Medicare with Prescription Costs

Adults covered by Medicare who have limited income and resources may be eligible for extra help – available through Social Security – to pay part of their monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.  The extra help is worth an average of $3,900 per year.

To figure out whether a Medicare recipient is eligible, Social Security needs to know the individual’s income and the value of her/his savings, investments, and real estate (other than the home lived in).   To qualify for the extra help, the individual must be receiving Medicare and also have income limited to $16,245 for an individual or $21,855 for spouses living together.  Even if the annual income is higher, one still may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. Some examples where income may be higher include if either spouse:

** Supports other family members who live with them;
** Have earnings from work; or
** Live in Alaska or Hawaii; and
** Resources limited to $12,510 for an individual or $25,010 for a married couple living together (i.e. resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. Social Security does not count a house
or car as resources).

Social Security has an online application. You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp. To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020).  Or go to your local Social Security office.