Medicare Advantage Extra Help

If you’re searching for ways to reduce your prescription drug costs under Medicare, the Medicare Advantage Extra Help program could be your solution. This federally supported assistance could lower or even eliminate many out-of-pocket expenses for individuals with limited income.

Discover if you qualify, learn about the simple application process, and understand what benefits you may be entitled to.


Key Takeaways

  • Medicare Advantage Extra Help, also known as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy, helps those with limited income by reducing or eliminating certain Medicare prescription drug costs such as premiums, deductibles, copayments, and is tailored to individual financial situations.


  • Eligibility for Medicare Advantage Extra Help is determined by income and asset thresholds, and beneficiaries of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are automatically eligible without needing a separate application.


  • Applying for Medicare Advantage Extra Help can be done online, by phone, or through the State Medical Assistance office, and being enrolled can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses for medication.

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Understanding Medicare Advantage Extra Help

Medicare Advantage Extra Help, also known as the Part D Low-Income Subsidy, is a lifeline for individuals grappling with high prescription drug costs.

This program targets those with limited income and resources and aims to reduce or even eliminate their Part D costs. Not only can it cover monthly Medicare premiums and deductibles, but it can also reduce prescription copayments, making your medication more affordable.

The Extra Help program functions through Medicare-approved private plans, ensuring that you receive the help you need without having to navigate complicated bureaucratic processes. What this means for you is that Medicare prescription drug coverage can become more accessible and less of a financial burden.

Understanding Medicare Advantage Extra Help

Bear in mind, the level of assistance provided by Extra Help can vary. The program is designed to cater to individual financial situations, meaning that the assistance you receive is tailored to your specific needs. This personalized approach is what makes the Extra Help program a valuable resource in managing your Medicare costs.


The connection between Medicare Advantage and Part D

Medicare Advantage and Part D are two sides of the same coin, both designed to ease the financial burden of healthcare costs. Part D, an optional outpatient prescription drug benefit available to individuals with Medicare, significantly aids in covering the expenses related to prescription drugs.

Part D prescription drug coverage is offered by private insurance companies approved by Medicare and is integrated within many Medicare Advantage plans. This integration allows you to get all your coverage, including prescription drug coverage, from one plan.

Extra Help works in tandem with these initiatives, providing help paying and financial aid to offset the following costs:


  • premiums
  • deductibles
  • coinsurance
  • copayments


If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes prescription drug coverage, Extra Help can assist with these costs, making your healthcare more affordable.

Eligibility for Medicare Advantage Extra Help

Qualifying for Medicare Advantage Extra Help is based on specific income and asset thresholds. If your monthly income is up to $1,843 ($2,485 for couples) and your assets fall below certain limits, you may be eligible for this program. The asset limits are $16,660 for individuals or $33,240 for a married couple living together for partial Extra Help.


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Receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) ensures automatic eligibility for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs, thus eliminating the need for a separate application.

And for those wondering, receiving food stamps or housing assistance does not affect your eligibility for Medicare Advantage Extra Help. This ensures that those in need of assistance can avail of multiple benefits without jeopardizing their eligibility for Extra Help.


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Extra Help

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program that offers financial assistance to people with limited income, including individuals with disabilities and elderly individuals with minimal or no income or assets. It also extends support to disabled adults and children with limited income and resources.

If you’re an SSI recipient and are enrolled in Medicare, you automatically qualify for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs. This means you don’t need to submit a separate application, simplifying the process and ensuring you get the help you need as soon as possible.

There are asset limits that SSI recipients must adhere to in order to qualify for Extra Help. These limits are $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, ensuring that those who need the most help are prioritized.

How to Apply for Medicare Advantage Extra Help

Applying for Medicare Advantage Extra Help is a straightforward process and can be done online at You may be automatically enrolled in Extra Help if you have Medicaid, SSI, or an MSP.


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For those who prefer to apply by phone, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. Alternatively, you can also reach out to the State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office to apply through your respective state.

When applying, make sure to have certain documents at hand, including prescriptions.

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Benefits of Medicare Advantage Extra Help

Medicare Advantage Extra Help offers a host of benefits aimed at reducing your out-of-pocket expenses. Once you’re enrolled in the program, you may find your expenses significantly reduced. Individuals may be responsible for up to $4.50 for each generic drug and up to $11.20 for each brand-name drug.

Not only does Extra Help assist in covering a significant portion or all of the monthly premiums and annual deductibles, but it can also reduce prescription copayments. This means you’ll be paying less out-of-pocket for your medications, making your healthcare more affordable.

Along with these benefits, Extra Help also supports you through the Medicare Savings Programs. These programs offer aid in lowering the cost of prescription drugs to a maximum of $4.30 per drug in 2023, further reducing your out-of-pocket costs.


Navigating the Medicare Savings Program

The Medicare Savings Program is another resource in reducing your overall Medicare drug plan expenses. This program is designed to assist individuals with limited income and assets by reducing the costs associated with their Medicare drug plans, including premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.


Medicare prescription help



If you’re eligible for Extra Help, the Medicare Savings Program can further decrease your out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs. In 2023, individuals receiving Extra Help will be responsible for no more than $4.30 for each medication covered by their Medicare drug plan.

Eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program requires having Medicare Part A and fulfilling certain income and asset criteria. These criteria may vary based on your state of residence, so it’s essential to check your eligibility based on your specific situation.

Transitioning from Medicaid Coverage

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Transitioning from Medicaid to Medicare Advantage Extra Help can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. The process involves:


  1. Applying for Medicare
  2. Selecting a Medicare Advantage plan that provides Extra Help
  3. Evaluating and comparing different plans to choose the one that aligns best with your needs
  4. Providing proof of your Medicaid coverage and income to establish your eligibility for Extra Help.


If your income and resources change, you can reapply for Extra Help at any time. To do this, you can visit, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or apply through your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office.

Transitioning from Medicaid to Medicare Advantage Extra Help does come with its challenges. These may include:


  • The potential unavailability of prescribed drugs on the Part D formulary
  • Potential issues for people in rural areas
  • Difficulty in obtaining Medigap plans when switching from Medicare Advantage to traditional Medicare.

Managing Your Medicare Drug Plan with Extra Help

Managing your Medicare drug plan with Extra Help is a crucial part of making the most of this program. Monitoring your prescription costs involves contacting 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or reaching out to the Extra Help program. They can provide details about your Extra Help level and help you manage your prescription costs effectively.


Medicare coverage



If discrepancies in your drug coverage and costs arise, taking prompt action is vital. In most cases, here are the steps you should take:


  1. Compare the specific costs of each plan during open enrollment.
  2. If discrepancies persist, retain receipts.
  3. Contact the plan or Medicare’s Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition (NET) Program at 1-800-783-1307 for further guidance.


If you encounter any issues with your Medicare drug plan under Extra Help, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. You can contact TTY +1 800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing, or visit to chat with a representative.


Navigating the world of healthcare costs can be daunting, but programs like Medicare Advantage Extra Help are designed to make the journey easier. By understanding this program, its benefits, eligibility criteria, and how to apply, you can take control of your healthcare expenses.

Whether you’re transitioning from Medicaid or managing your Medicare drug plan with Extra Help, remember that assistance is available. So, take that first step towards affordable healthcare coverage today!

Frequently Asked Questions



What are the changes for extra help in 2025?

In 2025, the changes for extra help include no deductibles, no premiums for Part D drug plans, and reduced costs for generic and brand-name drugs. This means that everyone who qualifies for Extra Help will pay $0 for their Medicare drug plan premium and deductible.


→  Who qualifies for an extra $144 added to their Social Security?

To qualify for an extra $144 added to your Social Security, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A and B, and you should be responsible for paying the Part B premiums yourself. Avoid relying on state or local assistance for your Part B premiums.


→  What is the purple letter from Medicare?

The purple letter from Medicare is sent to inform you that you automatically qualify for Extra Help. Keep it for your records, and you don’t need to apply for Extra Help if you receive this letter.


→  What are the income limits for Medicare 2023?

In 2023, the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B is $164.90, with income limits of up to $97,000 for individuals and $194,000 for married couples filing jointly. For Medicare Savings Programs, the income limits are $19,920 per year for an individual and $26,868 per year for a married couple in many cases.


→  What is Medicare Advantage Extra Help?

Medicare Advantage Extra Help is a federal program that helps individuals with limited income and resources lower their Part D expenses or eliminate them altogether, reducing overall costs.

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Russell Noga
( Medicare Expert )

Russell Noga is the CEO of ZRN Health & Financial Services, and head content editor of several Medicare insurance online publications. He has over 15 years of experience as a licensed Medicare insurance broker helping Medicare beneficiaries learn about Medicare, Medicare Advantage Plans, Medigap insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.