Medicare costs can add up to be a large expense and it’s probably more than what you want to spend on something you need! Thankfully, there are resources that can help you cover these costs and save money.
Medicare has a program called Extra Help to assist those struggling with prescription drug costs, premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance of Medicare drug coverage. To qualify for this program, you meet the following criteria:
- If you are a single person, your income must be less than $1,456 monthly and resources should amount to less than $9360 (resources refer to the amount of money in a savings account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and Individual Retirement Accounts).
- If you are a married person living with a spouse and no other dependents, your income must be less than $1,960 monthly and resources should amount to less than $14,800 (resources refer to the amount of money in a savings account, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and Individual Retirement Accounts).
These numbers change every year and the minimum amount in income and resources may change with the number of dependents that live with you.
You automatically meet the Extra Help qualifications if you have full Medicaid coverage, receive help from Indiana Medicaid to cover Part B premiums, or you receive Supplemental Security (SSI) Benefits.
To apply for Extra Help, you will have to complete an application form and an interview – both things Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center staff can help you with! You will find out within 45 days and you will receive a letter.
If you’re not eligible for reduced Medicare Extra Help or are denied Medicare, you may still have options. If you’re not eligible for Extra Help due to higher resources, you may qualify for HoosierRx. HoosierRx provides up to $70 a month in assistance. Other qualifications for this program are:
- You must be an Indiana resident, ages 65 or older.
- Your annual income must be at or below $18,060 (if single) or $24,276 (if married).
- You must have applied through Social Security for Extra Help and either received a “Notice of Award” or a “Notice of Denial”
- If you received a “Notice of Award”, it must state that you are receiving partial extra help subsidy to help pay for your Medicare Part D premium.
- If you received a “Notice of Denial”, it must be because your resources are above the maximum.
There are also other programs that can help cover certain expenses. The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program helps pay for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and/or Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) premiums. The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program helps pay Part B premiums. Qualifying Individual (QI) Program helps pay Part B premiums. The Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program helps pay Part A premiums only for those disabled and working.
In addition to these programs, there are things that you can do to ensure you are getting the best price! Make sure to ask your doctor if there are generic versions to any name-brand prescriptions, the generic versions are usually cheaper. You can also ask your doctor for cheaper prescription alternatives to your current prescription to make sure you’re getting the lowest price.
If you’d like to learn more about resources Mary Rigg may have to help you, connect with someone on our Family and Financial Resource team by calling 317-639-6106.