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Understanding Extra Help and
Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) for 2024
Extra Help, also known as the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), emerges as a pivotal program, specifically sculpted to alleviate the financial burden associated with *Medicare costs for individuals navigating through low-income scenarios. This program is not merely a financial cushion but a structured support system that ensures beneficiaries can access necessary healthcare without being encumbered by financial strain.
➔ Aids in managing out-of-pocket *Medicare costs.
➔ Specifically targets premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance.
Embarking on the journey to secure Extra Help begins with a straightforward application process through the Social Security Administration. It’s imperative to approach this process armed with pertinent documentation that substantiates your income, as this is the linchpin upon which eligibility is determined. The emphasis is placed on ensuring that the assistance is channeled to individuals encapsulated within the low-income bracket.
➔ Applications are processed through the Social Security Administration.
➔ Proof of income is a non-negotiable requirement for application.
Navigating through the eligibility criteria for Extra Help necessitates a keen understanding of the financial thresholds set forth. In 2023, the monthly income cap was set at $1,719 for individuals and $2,309 for couples, coupled with specific asset limitations. It’s noteworthy that the SSA automatically applies a $20 income disregard to monthly unearned income, providing a slight financial buffer for applicants.
➔ Income and asset thresholds are pivotal eligibility determinants.
➔ Certain income and assets may be disregarded, providing a bit of financial leeway.
Benefits Offered by Extra Help:
The benefits ushered in by the Extra Help program are multi-faceted, extending beyond mere financial assistance to providing a structured support system for managing Medicare Part D costs. Beneficiaries witness a tangible reduction in prescription drug costs and receive coverage for Part D monthly premiums up to a state-specific benchmark. Additionally, the program provides a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), granting flexibility in managing Medicare Part D plans.
➔ Ensures reduced prescription drug costs and coverage for Part D premiums.
➔ Offers a SEP to facilitate changes in Medicare Part D plans.
The application for Extra Help can potentially serve a dual purpose, as it may also be utilized to screen applicants for eligibility for a *Medicare Savings Program. It’s paramount to understand that while Extra Help provides substantial financial relief, it does not negate the necessity of maintaining a Part D plan for *Medicare prescription drug coverage. It operates in tandem with Part D, ensuring beneficiaries can navigate through their healthcare journey with minimized financial strain.
➔ Application may screen for additional *Medicare Savings Programs.
➔ Extra Help operates alongside, not as a replacement for, Part D.
Ensure to validate and update the information, especially financial thresholds, for the year 2024 when it becomes available to maintain accuracy and relevance.
What’s happening currently?
Beneficiaries must be under 135% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to be eligible for the Full LIS program (under Full LIS, individuals pay no Part D premium or deductible and minimal copayments). Individuals between 135% and 150% FPL are eligible for the Partial LIS program, where they are entitled to lower premiums and deductibles than the standard benefit but pay more in premiums and cost-sharing than individuals eligible for the Full LIS program. LEARN MORE