If I am low-income, will I be able to receive extra help paying for my prescription plan premiums and deductibles?

If you have limited income and resources, you may qualify for extra help in paying for prescription drugs. If you have a higher income, you may still qualify under certain circumstances, such as if you still work or have dependents living with you. Resources include money in a checking or savings account, stocks, and bonds. Resources do not include items like your car or your home or your life insurance policy. 

You can apply for extra help through your state Medicaid office or the Social Security Administration. If you believe you may qualify for extra help, contact Social Security for an application at 1 (800) 772-1213. You can also apply online at http://www.ssa.gov. After you apply, Social Security will review your application and notify you if you qualify for extra help.  

If you currently receive both Medicaid with prescription drug coverage and Medicare, Medicare and Supplemental Security Income, or if the State of West Virginia pays for your Medicare premiums, you will automatically receive the extra help. Medicare will send you a letter if you automatically qualify, and you will not need to apply. 

If you are not already in a Medicare drug plan, you must join one to get the extra help. Medicare might automatically enroll you if you do not do so yourself. The application for extra help is completely separate from enrollment in a prescription plan. If you qualify for extra help, you still need to enroll in a Medicare-approved prescription drug plan. 

For more information, see: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare & You (2015), http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf (last visited May 28, 2015).