If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or are enrolled in a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) such as QI, SLMB or QMB, you automatically qualify for Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay most of your Medicare Part D costs. You do not need to apply.

However, you do need to choose a plan through which to get your Medicare drug coverage. You should call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit medicare.gov to find the plan that best meets your needs—covers the drugs you need and works at the pharmacies you use regularly. Then enroll in that plan.

If you do not enroll in a Medicare drug plan, you will be randomly assigned to one. If you qualify for SSI or an MSP, you will have a Special Enrollment Period to change Medicare drug plans once a month. You will not have to pay a premium penalty even if you are enrolling after you were first eligible for the benefit.