Getting Help with Paying for Prescription Drugs

Are you having difficulty paying for your prescription drugs? If you meet certain income and resource limits, you may be eligible for Medicare’s Extra Help program, which could save you up to thousands of dollars per year on your prescription drug costs.

An article in Kaiser Health News estimated that more than two million Medicare beneficiaries who would qualify for Extra Help are not taking advantage of the program. The article referenced a study commissioned by the Kaiser Family Foundation that found that 2.3 million Medicare beneficiaries who were eligible for the Extra Help program had not applied.

According to Medicare, for most people who qualify for the Extra Help program, drug costs in 2011 will be no more than $2.50 for each generic and $6.30 for each brand-name for covered drugs. Others pay only a portion of their Medicare drug plan premiums and deductibles based on their income level.

To see if you might qualify for Extra Help or any of Medicare’s other cost-saving programs, go to  http://www.medicare.gov/navigation/medicare-basics/ medical-and-drug-costs.aspx .

To apply for Extra Help online, go to https://secure.ssa.gov/apps6z/i1020/main.html  or call Social Security at 800/772-1213 to apply by phone or to request a paper application.

To read about other ways to lower your drug costs, go to www.medicare.gov/health-and-drugs/bridging-the-coverage-gap.aspx.

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