Getting Extra Help With Medicare Drugs

Low income subsidy is not the only way to get extra help with Medicare drugsLife Preserver For Medicare Drugs

There is no doubt that qualifying for extra help with Part D has allowed millions of people to afford their medications.

But for every person receiving extra help with their Medicare drugs through the low income subsidy there several others who are struggling to afford their medications.

This article will point you towards some other resources if you are looking to get some extra help. Although there is no guarantee that you will successful, it is certainly worth the effort to try.

What Does Medicare Part D Cost?

Four resources for extra help with your Part D drug costs

1. First you need to determine if you qualify for a low income subsidy through the Part D program itself. There are two things to consider when determining if you qualify.

  • Income – If you are single your income must be less than $16,335 per year. If you are married and living with your spouse your combined income must be less than $22,065.
  • Resources – This is referring to your financial resources. Some things are exempt. Your house, car, life insurance and a $1500 burial insurance policy are not included in the total value of your assets. If you are single you can have up to $12,640 in assets. If married and living with your spouse you can have up to $25,260 in assets.

There are exceptions. Watch this brief Video to learn more. If you do not qualify for extra help with your Part D costs it’s time to consider some other options.

2. National and community based programs may be an option. There are programs offered both nationally and locally to offer assistance to certain groups of people. Visit to learn about any programs that may be available.

3. State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPSP) may be available. Some states offer extra help with drug costs. Visit to learn more.

4. Manufacturer’s pharmaceutical assistance programs have proven to be a big benefit to many people struggling to pay for their Part D drugs. Many of the major drug manufacturers have programs in place to help people who are having difficulty paying for their drugs.

Speak with your doctor about any programs that may be available. Also don’t forget to ask about any free samples that may be available.

As you can see, getting extra help with Medicare drugs can require a little leg work. But given the high cost of medications it may be worth your time to see if you can save some money.

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  1. Why are you advising that “Many of the major drug manufacturers have programs in place to help people who are having difficulty paying for their drugs.” when you must know that there is a specific provision in “guidelines” that those who have a Medicare Plan D drug coverage are excluded and cannot be helped. In my case I have arthritis, I’m on Orencia. There is no doctor near my residence that is qualified to supervise that administration of same, therefore I have to travel once a month about 200 miles each way to receive my mediation. I am fortunate to have a family member I can stay with. I looked in to the self injection now offered but the cost is prohibitive for me. I’d be immediately in the whole as of 1/2/12 and not out until 3/2 and i would have several thousands of $$ owing. I am not eligible for help from the drug company because I have a plan D for my other medications.
    Also my husband is in the same situation, because of his diabetes. he has at least 3 very high end medication that he takes, which places him in the hole about April or May of each year and he does not come out of the hole until late DEC of each year. By then he has usually “reordered” so late in the month that he cannot reorder while in the 3rd stage where things are “cheap’ So we start the cycle over again.
    Remember that while he spends most of they year paying full or almost full price for his drugs he is still paying a premium for the coverage which has little, to no benefit for him. In fact we have to buy most of his high end drugs locally & monthly in order to come near being able to pay for his medicines.
    Most of my medications are generic but that does not mean they are on level one I believe I have at least 2 that are on level 2 So not all Generics are “really cheap” as one is lead to believe. In fact, we both have generics that are on level 2.
    I do have a high end option plan because when I review and compare, especially his medications I am left with about the same option as I already have as far a price point. I am afraid to change his plan especially because from the information I have gotten when comparing he may not be accepted or there might be other negative consequences ( they will not cover the medication.)
    According to the financial guidelines we we have “too much” income based on all their qualifying factors. In actual fact not true it just looks good on paper.

    The no “doctor near me qualified” is based on the advise of my doctor.

  2. Judy, I’m sorry to hear about the spot you and your husband are in. Thank goodness for the Part D program. Prior to 2006 you would have been on your own. I stand by my information and am providing a link to a Medicare publication that recommends what I have advocated in my article including seeking programs offered by drug companies. Maybe we are not referring to the same type of program.

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