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How to Get ‘Extra Help’ Paying for Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

The City Sentinel, Staff Report

As many Oklahomans are still experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal Extra Help Program may be available to help.

The Extra Help program assists qualified Medicare beneficiaries with out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare Part D prescription drug expenses.

More than 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Oklahoma may be eligible for this program but have yet to apply. The Medicare Assistance Program (MAP) is a division of the Oklahoma Insurance Department that can help Medicare beneficiaries understand and apply for this assistance.

MAP provides free, unbiased information to help Oklahomans understand Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage and other health plan options.

“Having to choose between buying groceries or paying for prescription drugs is a decision no Medicare beneficiary should have to make,” MAP Director Ray Walker said.

The income and asset limits for Extra Help are:

-$1,469 per month with assets up to $9,470 if you are single

– $1,980 per month with assets up to $14,960 if you are married

Individuals who qualify for this program will receive assistance with their Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. This means that individuals who are eligible for Full Extra Help will have their Part D monthly premium paid up to $29.11 per month. They will pay a reduced co-pay of $3.70 for generic drugs and $9.20 for name-brand drugs.

“Even with higher income and resources, you may qualify for partial Extra Help, which will pay all or part of the monthly premium as well as a portion of the co-pays and coinsurance,” Walker added.

To see if you qualify for the Extra Help program, call the Oklahoma Medicare Assistance Program at 1-800-763-2828 or visit https://www.oid.ok.gov/ship-low-income-subsidy/.

If you have questions about other insurance issues, contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit the website at www.oid.ok.gov. 

Low income Oklahomans can get assistance with out of pocket drug costs with guidance from Oklahoma Insurance Department’s Medicare Assistance Program. Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Insurance Department.