Low Income Subsidy Plans

By Eric Gonzalez ~

Are you on Medicare? Are you having trouble paying for your prescription drug costs or Medicare Part D premiums or deductibles? Do you live on a fixed income and have little to no assets? If so, you may be eligible for the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as Extra Help. Does this type of assistance interest you? If so, you may want to read this article closely.

The LIS program is a program designed to help individuals pay for the costs associated with Medicare Part D prescription drug plans if they have limited income and assets. The LIS program helps with the costs of monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments associated with a Medicare Part D plan.

To be eligible for the LIS program, you need to meet certain income and resource limits. These limits vary based on whether you are single or married. Single individuals must receive less than $1,610 a month in income and have less than $14,790 in resources. Married couples are allowed to receive up to $2,177 a month and have up to $29,520 in resources. 

The income limits are based on gross income, meaning your income before taxes. However, not everything counts as income. For example, your Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, if you have them, do not count as income for purposes of the LIS application. Additionally, not everything that you own counts as a resource. For example, resources include items such as money in a checking or savings account, stocks, bonds, IRAs, trusts, and retirement accounts, but do not include the house you live in, one car, and your furniture or other personal possessions.

To see if you are eligible for the LIS program, call or email Benefits in Action or Social Security for application guidelines. This is because the LIS program is administered by Social Security on behalf of Medicare. You will also need to discuss a variety of issues at the time of your application. This information includes the dollar amount of your resources and the monthly dollar amount of your income, including Social Security and other retirement income.

As we said last month, Medicare does not have to be outside of your budget. You may be eligible for the LIS program. For more information or to see if you qualify, you can contact Benefits in Action at 720-221-8354 or via email at info@benefitsinaction.org.

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