Government programs that can help pay for health care and prescription costs

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There are a number of government programs that may help if you qualify.

Are you having trouble paying for health care costs even though you have Medicare?

Veterans Benefits: If you qualify for health benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the VA system may provide you health care and prescription drugs at the lowest cost.

Low-cost health centers and clinics: You will pay less for Medicare-covered services if you receive them through low-cost health centers and clinics in your state.

Do you need help paying for prescription drugs?

Extra Help is a federal program that helps you pay for some or most of the costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D). You may be eligible for Extra Help if your monthly income is up to $1,459 ($1,967 for couples) in 2014 and assets are below $13,070 ($26,120 for couples). If you have Medicaid, a Medicare Savings Program or receive Supplemental Security Income, you will get Extra Help automatically, and you do not need to apply. You can apply for the Extra Help program through the Social Security Administration or your local Medicaid office.

State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs) are offered in some states to help pay for prescriptions. Most SPAPs have income guidelines. Many also require you to enroll in the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D) and to apply for Extra Help. SPAPs generally pay or help you pay the Medicare drug coverage premiums and cost-sharing, as well as costs in the coverage gap. Some may also pay for drugs that are excluded from Medicare drug coverage or are not included in your Medicare drug plan’s formulary.

    Note: There are other programs that can help you pay for your prescriptions.



Case Examples
Ms. L qualified for a Medicare Savings Program but never received the benefit.

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Can I qualify for Medicaid if my income is higher than the limit?

What is Medicaid?

How does Medicaid work with Medicare to cover my health care costs?

Could I be eligible for a government program other than Medicaid to help with my health care costs (Medicare Savings Programs)?

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) covered services

Extra Help: Assistance paying for the Medicare drug benefit

Does my state have a program to help me with my prescription drug costs?

My income is low. Are there programs that can help pay for my prescriptions?

Are there any hospitals or health facilities that offer care at a reduced cost?

Veteran's Benefits Administration

Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Directory

Medicaid-covered Benefits By State

Social Security Extra Help Application

State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) Directory

State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs by State (

State Medicaid Programs

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