Dear Marci,

My friend mentioned they save money on their prescriptions through a program called Extra Help. How can I find out if I qualify for this program?

-Frank (Omaha, NE)

Dear Frank,

Extra Help is a federal program that helps pay for some to most of the out-of-pocket costs of Medicare prescription drug coverage. It is also known as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS). Extra Help can:

If your monthly income is up to $1,843 in 2023 (or $2,485 for couples) and your assets are below certain limits, you may be eligible for Extra Help. You can view this eligibility chart for more details. Even if your income or assets are above the eligibility limits, you could still be eligible for Extra Help because certain types of income and assets are not counted.

Also know that if you are enrolled in Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or a Medicare Savings Program (MSP), you automatically qualify for Extra Help regardless of whether you separately meet Extra Help’s eligibility requirements. You should receive a purple-colored notice from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) informing you that you do not need to apply for Extra Help.

Remember that Extra Help is not a replacement for Part D or a plan on its own, though. You must still have a Part D plan to receive Medicare prescription drug coverage and Extra Help assistance. If you do not choose a plan and you apply and qualify for Extra Help, you will in most cases be enrolled into one.

If you think you may be eligible, I recommend that you apply through the Social Security Administration. You can apply online or call or visit to get a paper application.


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