At some point or other, everyone is going to need Medicare. By the time you hit 65, it’s expected of you that you have looked through the various plans offered and begin the sign up process to get you covered federally. These plans try to optimize affordability and accessibility to get you the best coverage possible. However, they can also be pretty expensive if you don’t have much of a retirement fund. Prescription drugs especially have a tendency to rocket in price. Thankfully, Extra Help for Medicare was launched to serve as a program that works to better cover those out-of-pocket expenses that you run into with your prescription drug plan. Let’s dive into Extra Help to see exactly what it is and if you’re eligible based on your income!
How does Extra Help live up to its name?
Like we said earlier, Extra Help for Medicare is a program designed to mitigate the costs that you experience with your prescription drug plan, or Part D of Medicare. Not only can Extra Help lower the costs of your prescription drugs themselves, it can also help pay your Part D premium up to a certain amount. With this program you are given a Special Enrollment Period that you can use in the first three quarters of a calendar year to amend your Part D plan or switch between plans without penalty. Lastly, Extra Help will eliminate any late enrollment penalty for the Part D plan if you accidentally delayed signing up.
What are the income limits Extra Help?
Extra Help for Medicare looks at your income as an indicator of whether you should be aided or not. The income cap to be allowed in this program changes on a year to year basis. It’s worth looking up on a yearly basis to make sure you still qualify. In 2019, and in 2020 until further notice, the income limit to be eligible for Extra Help is $1,581 a month. If you are a couple, the income limit is raised to $2,134.
There is also an asset limit, meaning that your combined assets cannot be greater than the declared amount. In 2019, your assets can only be worth up to $14,390 ($28,720 for couples) to qualify for Extra Help. If you are a dual eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, then you are automatically qualified for Extra Help. Similarly, if you are enrolled in Supplemental Security Income, you are eligible for Extra Help.
Is Extra Help the right move for you?
Maybe you’re incredibly healthy right now, and that’s amazing! We wish you all the best when it comes to your well being. Changes in health can occur quickly, though, and having the right healthcare plan is incredibly vital. Being enrolled in a prescription drug plan might seem like an extra expense now. Down the line, though, when you need a handful of medications it can seem like a lifesaver. Check to see if you’re eligible for Extra Help, and the affordability of your well being will be much less of a headache. Contact a licensed representative if you have any further questions regarding Extra Help for Medicare and how it might work with your particular plan. Income inequality being what it is, there is nothing wrong with asking for a little bit of help. It’s simply up to you to seek it out.