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What is Extra Help?


Extra Help is a program offered by Medicare for people with low incomes and limited assets. This is also called Low Income Subsidy or LIS. But less than half of the people eligible for Extra Help actually sign up. So, if you need help paying Part D premiums, deductibles and copays, submit an application.

What income counts?  

  • Wages
  • Earnings from self-employment
  • Social Security benefits
  • Railroad Retirement benefits
  • Veterans’ benefits
  • Pensions, annuities and alimony
  • Rental income
  • Worker’s compensation

What resources count?

  • Cash
  • Bank accounts
  • Stocks, bonds, or IRA or similar investments
  • Real estate other than your primary resident

Learn more about Extra Help and Medicaid programs

Other Help for Prescription Drug Costs:

Some states and counties do offer other programs. Here is a list of ideas to help you lower prescription drug costs.  

  • Manufacturer Coupons: Using a manufacture coupon is legal, you just can’t use them with your Part D insurance. Your pharmacy should be able to tell you if you will save more money with the coupon.  
  • GoodRX and other online companies can often save you money.  
  • Some states have a State Pharmaceutical Program.  
  • Some drug manufactures offer discounts on their drugs.  
  • Ask your doctor for free samples 
  • Apply with a local charity
  • Contact the Health Department in your county to see if they have any free medicine programs

How Can I Apply for Medicare Extra Help?

  1. Apply online at
  2. Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and request an application be mailed to you or apply over the phone.
  3. Apply in person at your local Social Security office.

Learn More: What is the Donut Hole?

People Also Read: Are Vaccines Covered by Medicare Part D?

Meet Melissa MacCalla

Medicare is not simple and can be hard, frustrating, and downright confusing for most. I love when I get someone on the phone and I am given the opportunity to explain the difference in plans to them and have Medicare make sense. I enjoy talking to clients year after year, hearing about their families growing or them asking about mine.


Senior Healthcare Solutions, you truly stand out from most other insurance agents. Thank you so much for all of your help and I know that you will have nothing but success with how you conduct business.

Joan B.

Montgomery, AL

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