Q1Medicare.com Reminds Medicare Beneficiaries That They May Now Qualify for the 2013 Medicare Part D Extra Help Program

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Medicare has recently increased the qualifying limits for the Medicare Part D prescription drug Extra Help program and Medicare beneficiaries are encouraged to see if they now qualify for financial assistance, potentially saving thousands of dollars a year on their prescription drug costs. To help Medicare beneficiaries learn more about the Extra Help program, Q1Medicare.com has updated their Extra Help section to include the new 2013 Medicare income and financial resource qualification limits.

We want to remind Medicare beneficiaries that they can apply for Extra Help at any time throughout the year.

Q1Medicare.com has updated their Medicare Part D financial Extra Help section highlighting the newly released 2013 income and resource limit increases defining when a person qualifies for the Medicare Part D Extra Help program.

The Medicare Part D Extra Help program provides assistance to Medicare beneficiaries with limited income and financial resources, paying a significant portion of Medicare Part D prescription drug costs, deductibles, and all or part of the monthly prescription drug plan premiums. In fact, the Social Security Administration estimates that the Extra Help program can save a Medicare beneficiary up to $4,000 per year.

Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicaid or receiving SSI automatically qualify for the Medicare Part D Extra Help program and do not need to apply for assistance. However, many Medicare beneficiaries not meeting the financial qualifications for their state Medicaid program may still qualify for partial Extra Help benefits.

This year, the Medicare Part D Extra Help program financial resource limits increased for both individuals and couples to $13,300 and $26,580 respectively. Extra Help annual income limits for individuals increased to $17,235 and the annual income limit for couples increased to $23,265. Medicare beneficiaries in Hawaii and Alaska have higher 2013 income limits. Households with more than two persons can determine their income limits via the 2013 Federal Poverty Level Guidelines.

“We want to remind Medicare beneficiaries that they can apply for Extra Help at any time throughout the year,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson co-founder of Q1Medicare.com. “More importantly, we wish to urge people who have previously lost their Extra Help assistance due to changes in their financial status to re-apply now based on the new 2013 Extra Help qualification limits.”

To help people navigate the Extra Help program, Q1Medicare.com provides general Extra Help information at Q1Medicare.com/ExtraHelp, as well as information on specific topics such as “Calculating your income and resources”, “Correcting your LIS status”, “Medicaid ‘spend down’”, and “How to appeal the Social Security Administration’s decision on your Extra Help application”.

To apply online for Extra Help, Medicare beneficiaries can go to the Social Security Administration website at SSA.gov or they can telephone the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance.

Medicare beneficiaries qualifying for the Medicare Part D Extra Help program are also reminded that they are entitled to a continuous Special Enrollment Period, providing beneficiaries with the opportunity to join or change their Medicare Part D prescription drug plan at any time during the plan year. To assist Extra Help recipients find a prescription drug plan, Q1Medicare.com provides their online PDP-Finder. As an example, the link Q1Medicare.com/ExtraHelp/CA displays all 2013 Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in California qualifying for the full Low-Income Subsidy $0 monthly premium.

The Q1Medicare.com Extra Help information and PDP-Finder are available at no cost and site users have the option to receive a copy of their PDP-Finder results via email. Like all Q1Medicare.com tools, the Extra Help information and PDP-Finder are designed to be accessible on PC, smartphone, or tablet platforms.

About the Q1Medicare.com Website
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare offers a large selection of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools, Medicare Part D blog, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, advocates, advisers, caregivers, and insurance agents better understand both the Medicare Part D prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).

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Lynnea Christner

Susan Johnson MS-MIS, MBA, PhD
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