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Low Income Subsidy – Medicare "Extra Help" Program

What is the Medicare Low Income Subsidy?

Eligible individuals who have limited income may qualify for a government program from Medicare. The Medicare low income subsidy, or the Medicare "Extra Help" program, helps pay for costs of prescription drugs, and those individuals receiving the low income subsidy (LIS) get assistance in paying for their monthly premium, annual deductible, coinsurance and copayments. Also, individuals enrolled in the Extra Help program do not have a gap in prescription drug coverage, also known as the Medicare Donut hole.

Medicare "Extra Help" Eligibility

You may qualify for the Medicare low income subsidy if your assets are less than $12,510 (single) or $25,010 (married), and your annual income is less than $16,245 (single) or $21,855 (married).

Assets that count toward eligibility include the following:

  • Cash and Bank accounts, including checking, savings and certificates of deposit
  • Real estate outside of your primary residence
  • Stocks and Bonds (which include U.S. Savings Bonds)
  • Mutual funds and IRAs

If you are unsure that you may qualify, you should go ahead apply to see if you are eligible for the Medicare Low Income Subsidy.

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Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.