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January 25, 2018

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Medical Coding News Archives

Help Available for Low Income Beneficiaries for Prescription Drugs

August 16, 2011:

Karen H. Kachur, RN, CPC

Revisions brought about by the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 now make it possible for Medicare beneficiaries who need help paying for prescription drugs to qualify for the Medicare Low-Income Subsidy Program (LIS or “Extra Help”). By changing the way assets and income are determined, more than two million beneficiaries are now eligible for the program.

Incomes must be less than $16,335 a year (single) or $22,065 (married couples) with resources limited to $12,640 (or $25,260 for married couples). Resources are defined as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds, but do not include the beneficiary’s house, car, or life insurance policy. Assistance provided by family and friends to pay for rent, food, mortgage, or utilities is not considered income for purposes of this program.

Eligible beneficiaries could qualify for help with paying for prescription drug coverage premiums, deductibles and copayments, and payments of no more than $2.50 (generic drugs) and $6.30 (brand name drugs).


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