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Medicare Drug Plan Support

June 30, 2017 Blog

Medicare prescription drug coverage can be costly and difficult for those who have limited financial resources.  Fortunately, the federal government provides those with limited means the opportunity to apply for and potentially receive “Extra Help” to defray the various costs associated with Medicare prescription drug coverage (i.e., premiums, deductibles, co-payments, etc.).

Extra Help is an important supplementary resource for those with a demonstrated need, with an estimated annual value of roughly $4,000.  If you qualify for such benefits, we encourage you to apply.  For professional guidance, call 813-264-5363 to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Mike Murburg.

Unsure about whether you’re eligible for Extra Help benefits?  Consider the following.

Extra Help Eligibility

Not everyone qualifies for Extra Help.  To qualify, you must demonstrate that you have limited financial resources such that Medicare prescription drug coverage would be beyond your means.

The following are the fundamental prerequisites for Extra Help:

  • You must be a resident of one of the fifty US states, or the District of Columbia. If you are a resident of a U.S. territory, you cannot qualify for Medicare Extra Help.
  • Specified personal assets cannot exceed $13,820 (individual) or $27,600 (married couple). These personal assets include bank accounts, stocks, and other investments.  Personal and real estate property, such as your personal residence or motor vehicle, are not counted towards this amount.  SSI back payments, life insurance, and other personal possessions (i.e., jewelry) do not count towards this amount, either.  For example, if you own an apartment worth $100,000, it will not count.  You can still qualify for Extra Help.
  • Your income should not exceed $18,090 (individual) or $24,360 (married couple) per annum. If your income does exceed these numbers, however, you may still qualify for Extra Help, so long as you can show that other family members are financially dependent on you, to some degree.  For example, if you earn $24,000 per year, but you give $6,000 per year to your sibling, you may still qualify for Extra Help.

Extra Help Application

If you believe that you qualify for Extra Help to defray your Medicare prescription drug plan costs, then you will have to submit a “Social Security Administration Review of Your Eligibility for Extra Help” Form (SSA-1026).  This can be completed online, or you can request a paper form from your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office.

After you submit your application, the SSA will send a decision letter explaining their decision to give you Extra Help.  The decision is not necessarily going to be ideal.  In some cases, the SSA will award you Extra Help funds, but in an amount that is insufficient.  You may thereafter want to appeal the decision.

If you have submitted an application for Extra Help and the SSA denied funds, or awarded you Extra Help funds that are insufficient given your financial situation, then you may want to appeal the decision.  In such cases, it’s important to consult with an attorney who has a long track record of success.  To setup a free consultation with an experienced Tampa SSI lawyer, call the Office of Attorney Mike Murburg at 813-264-5363 today.

We look forward to speaking with you.