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About ‘Extra Help’, the Federal Program that Helps Participants Pay for Medicare Part D

About 'Extra Help', the Federal Program that Helps Participants Pay for Medicare Part D

Many Medicare Part D participants on fixed incomes face difficult decisions about money and spending. There are benefits and programs available, such as the federal Extra Help program, that can help qualifying participants pay for Medicare prescription drug costs. The Social Security Administration and Medicare work together to assist participants with the Extra Help program.

Extra Help program benefits for eligible participants

According to the Social Security Administration, participants who qualify for the federal Extra Help program could save up to <$4,000> a year in costs for their Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. The program makes it possible for participants to pay:

  • Nothing or a very low amount for monthly premiums for Medicare Part D.
  • Nothing or a very low amount for yearly deductible for prescription medications.
  • Nothing or very low copayments or coinsurance for prescriptions.

Also, participants who are eligible for Extra Help can enroll in Medicare Part D at any time without paying any late enrollment penalties.

To be eligible for Extra Help, most participants' annual income and financial resources (including savings accounts, IRA accounts, stocks, and bonds) are limited to the levels described on the Extra Care website

There are some exceptions, and some people with higher incomes might qualify for Extra Help . That is why many organizations that provide assistance with government benefit issues encourage people to contact Social Security even if their incomes are higher than the eligibility limit.

Learn more

Online resources that offer information about Medicare Part D and the Extra Help program include Medicare.gov.


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Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc., is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. depends on contract renewal.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. is an LPPO plan and a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. depends on contract renewal.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc., and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc., are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Anthem Insurance Companies Inc. (AICI) has contracted with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to offer Medicare Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) noted above or herein AICI is the state-licensed, risk-bearing entity offering these plans. AICI has retained the services of its related companies and authorized agents/brokers/producers to provide administrative services and/or to make the PDPs available in this region.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and AICI are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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