Hands looking at prescriptions and dialing for a refill

It’s no secret that Americans are paying more for everyday goods—in fact, recent government reports show that we are experiencing the largest one-year consumer price increases since the early 1980s.1 From food to gasoline to prescription medications, consumers are feeling inflationary fallout—and unsurprisingly, seniors have shouldered much of the burden. Nearly 90 percent of adults aged 65 and older take prescription medications and, making matters worse, seniors are more likely than younger demographics to need multiple prescriptions.2 Data suggests that 25 percent of seniors struggle to afford their medications, with low-income populations facing the greatest hurdles. 3

Fortunately, Medicare offers a prescription drug program designed to help seniors offset costs. Medicare’s Extra Help program can be a lifesaver for many seniors, so interested parties should be sure to read Medicare’s recently updated eligibility guidance. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to qualify for the Extra Help program, seniors must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and/or B, reside in one of the 50 states, and meet the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) requirements; the LIS limits determine the level of financial support seniors are eligible to receive. 4

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently released the 2022 LIS requirements. The 2022 resource limits are $8,400 for the full low-income subsidy ($12,600 if married) and $14,010 for the partial low-income subsidies ($27,950 if married).5 Eligible applicants may also set aside $1,500 ($3,000 if married) to their resource limits to be used for burial expenses. 6

Interested parties can apply to the Extra Help program once per year, and the application process is relatively painless. Individuals can apply directly on the Social Security Administration website (www.ssa.gov/extrahelp), by phone (1-800-772-1213), or in person at a local Social Security office. 7

Once qualified applicants receive written confirmation of their eligibility for Extra Help, they are allowed to select their plans. In order to start receiving benefits right away, applicants are advised to select their plans at their earliest convenience. 8


1. www.cnbc.com/2022/04/25/amid-high-inflation-seniors-hope-for-prescription-drug-pricing-reform.html
2-3. www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/data-note-prescription-drugs-and-older-adults
4-6. www.cms.gov/files/document/lis-memo.pdf
7-8. www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10508.pdf

By Published On: July 14, 2022Categories: Uncategorized