How can I get help paying for Medicare Part B and Part D?

If you have monthly income below $3,460 if married, or below $2,790 if single, you may be eligible for one or more of the following programs that help pay for Part D (prescription drug) coverage and in some cases Part B (medical) coverage:

  • Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as Extra Help, reduces the cost of prescription drug coverage by reducing or eliminating Part D plan premiums, deductibles, and copays. It also eliminates the “donut hole.”  Apply for Part D Extra Help
  • The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) pays the Medicare Part B premium, and applicants in the lowest income and resource categories also get help with Part A and Part B deductibles and copays. Those eligible for any level of MSP are also automatically enrolled in LIS.  Application for Payment of Medicare Premiums, Coinsurance and Deductibles
  • LIS and MSP have resource as well as income limits. For Pennsylvania residents with low income, but with resources too high to qualify for LIS or MSP, the PACE/PACENET program helps pay prescription drug costs. This program has a very broad formulary, low copays, and no donut hole.  PACE/PACENET Brochure and Application
  • Certain low-income individuals covered by Medicare are eligible for a program called Low Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as Extra Help. LIS provides assistance paying for Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) premiums and co-pays. To qualify for LIS, individuals must be covered by a Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan with drug coverage. There may be a gap in time between a person being granted LIS coverage and the time when Part D coverage takes effect. To assist with drug costs during this gap, the LI NET (Low Income Newly Eligible Transition) program provides temporary drug coverage that lasts about 2 months. Note that if you do not enroll in a Part D plan, you will be auto-enrolled by Medicare. LI NET pays for all drugs covered under Part D and can be used at any pharmacy. Once your Part D plan becomes effective, LI NET will be discontinued and only those drugs that are in your plan's formulary will be covered.

    If you are covered by LI NET, you will receive a welcome letter from Medicare or Social Security including the effective date for your coverage, a membership card, and instructions. If you need a prescription, take all this information to the pharmacy. The pharmacist will know how to process the claim for coverage. Your level of assistance will determine co-pays. If you incurred out of pocket expenses on covered drugs while eligible for LI NET, you can apply for reimbursement.

Show All Answers

1. What is Medicare's Annual Open Enrollment Period?
2. How and when do I enroll in Medicare?
3. How does Medicare work with employer based insurance?
4. Am I covered by Medicare if my spouse or I is employed?
5. When can I switch my Medicare plan?
6. Does Medicare Cover COVID-19 Costs?
7. Do I need Medicare Part D?
8. Does Medicare cover vaccines?
9. What if one or more of my drugs is no longer covered by my Medicare drug plan?
10. What happens if you lose your Employer Group Health Plan when you are eligible for Medicare?
11. What's new for 2023?
12. When are the Medicare General Enrollment Period and the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period?
13. How do I avoid Medicare scams?
14. What are 5-Star plans and when can I enroll?
15. How can I get help paying for Medicare Part B and Part D?
16. What are the different parts of Medicare?
17. How do I update my contact information if I'm moving?
18. Can I change my Medicare Advantage or Medicare Prescription Drug Plan anytime?
19. How do I create a Medicare account?
20. What are the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 for Medicare beneficiaries?