Extra Help for Part D Costs
Our federal government offers help with paying for your Part D drug plan expenses if you qualify based on income. This is called the Low-Income Subsidy. Anyone can apply for this at Social Security at any time, but help is awarded based on proving low-income and limited resources. You must have an annual income that falls below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level based on your household size.
Extra Help Medicare Part D
Beneficiaries who qualify will receive assistance with paying their monthly Part D premiums, their annual Part D deductible, and also their copayments for retail medications. There are different levels of qualification, and the subsidy level generally determines how much assistance you will get with premiums. Someone qualifying a full subsidy would have 100% of their Part D premium paid for, up to the benchmark allowed by Medicare for that year.
For example, if you get an award notice that says you have a full subsidy, and the benchmark for the year is $34, then you can choose any drug plan you like, and the LIS program will pay up to $34/month toward your premiums. Choosing a drug plan with a premium of $34 or less in that scenario would mean you pay nothing for your drug plan. Furthermore, you will pay no deductible if your plan has one, and your copays for medications are greatly reduced. If you think you may qualify, it is worth contacting Social Security for an application.