SSA Mails Letters to Seniors Eligible for Extra Help
More than 2 million seniors are receiving letters this month from the Social Security Administration (SSA) telling them that they could be eligible for Extra Help, a program that often covers up to 75 percent of prescription drug costs. Others may be eligible for a partial subsidy on drugs, or for a Medicare Savings Program in their states, which help pay Medicare Part B costs. The letters are sent annually to seniors who do not already obtain the assistance through Medicaid or the Supplemental Security Income benefit program. A new twist this year: the SSA is sharing with community-based groups information on the number of letters the agency mailed to each ZIP code to help bolster the level of outreach. About 30 percent (11 million) of all Medicare Part D enrollees are in the Extra Help program, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. But another 1.2 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries were enrolled in higher-cost Part D prescription drug plans last year, paying an average premium of $18.90 per month.
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.