If I have Extra Help this year, will I still have it next year?
Question 5 of 6 (use "Last" or "Next" buttons to see more)
Last Update: December 27, 2007
It depends on how you got Extra Help this year and whether your situation has changed.
- If you got Extra Help automatically because you were already enrolled in Medicaid, a Medicare Savings Program (MSP), or were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and
- you are still enrolled in Medicaid or an MSP, or receiving SSI in the fall, you do not have to do anything. Your state should tell Medicare that you are still enrolled in one of these programs. You should not receive any notice unless your copayments are changing for the next year. If your income changed enough to affect your copayments, you should receive a notice telling you this in early October.
To see a sample of the letter that you would receive if your Extra Help copayments were changing, click on "Notice from Medicare: Change in Extra Help Copayment" in the LINKS box.
- you are no longer enrolled in Medicaid or an MSP, or receiving SSI at the end of the year, you should apply for Extra Help. Otherwise, your Extra Help ends on December 31. You should receive a letter in the fall telling you that you will lose Extra Help. You should also receive an Extra Help application and postage-paid envelope with your notification letter.
To see a sample of the letter that you would receive if your Extra Help was ending, click on "Notice from Medicare: Loss of Extra Help" in the LINKS box.
To find out how Medicaid works with the Medicare drug benefit, click on the link in the GO TO box.
- If you applied for Extra Help, Social Security may send you a letter in August or September with a form outlining the financial and personal information you provided when you applied and asking if any of it has changed. (The letter is titled “Social Security Administration Review Of Your Eligibility For Extra Help.”) If you and your spouse applied for Extra Help on the same application, you will receive only one letter. Not everyone who applied for Extra Help will receive a letter, but if you do, you must complete the form enclosed with the letter and send it back to Social Security within 30 days.
Social Security will use your answers to decide if you are still qualified for Extra Help and how much Extra Help you should get (for example, if your income had dropped you may be eligible for more assistance). If you need more time to fill out the form, call your local Social Security office and ask for an extension; you may receive an extra 30 days to fill out the form. Any changes to your Extra Help assistance will go into effect on January 1.
If you do not return the “Review of Your Eligibility” form, Medicare will assume that you no longer qualify for Extra Help and your assistance will end on December 31.
Once you send in the necessary forms, you will receive a notice telling you whether your Extra Help has stayed the same, increased, decreased or ended.
If Medicare ends your Extra Help, you can reapply.
To find out how to get Extra Help, click on "Will I get help paying for my Medicare drug benefit if my income is low (Extra Help)?" in the GO TO box.