A Valuable Gift for Mom
"Extra Help" keeps on giving throughout the year
Mother's Day is right around the corner. It's nice to give Mom a card, flowers, and candy—but this year people all over the country are helping their moms save nearly $4,000 a year on the cost of prescription drugs. You can help your mom, too, and it won't cost you a dime.
The high cost of prescription medication can be a burden on mothers or anyone with limited income and resources. "Extra Help"—available through Social Security—may cover part of her monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. Extra Help is worth an average of almost $4,000 a year.
To figure out whether your mother is eligible, Social Security needs to know her income and the value of her savings, investments, and real estate (other than the home she lives in). To qualify for the Extra Help, she must be enrolled in Medicare and have:
- Income limited to $16,335 for an individual or $22,065 for a married couple living together; and
- Resources limited to $12,640 for an individual or $25,260 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds, but not her house and car.
If her annual income is higher, she still may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments. Some examples where income may be higher include if she or her spouse support other family members who live with them, have earnings from work, or live in Alaska or Hawaii.
Social Security has an easy-to-use online application that you can help your mom complete. To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to the nearest Social Security office.
Information about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods is available online. For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).
So this Mother's Day, give your mom a gift she can use year-round—a savings of up to $4,000 a year on her prescription drugs. Flowers wither and candy is consumed, but the Social Security's Extra Help keeps on giving throughout the year.
Senior Information & Assistance
Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) HelpLine