How to Apply for Assistance

Who Qualifies for Extra Help Automatically

You receive Extra Help with Medicare costs automatically if you have Medicare and also have or participate in:

  • Medicaid
  • Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
  • Medicare Savings Programs
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

If you automatically qualify for Extra Help, you will still be required to fill out an application. You can do that through the Social Security Administration (SSA), using either the agency’s print or online application in the SSA website, or at your local Medicaid office.

Applying for Extra Help if You Don’t Qualify Automatically

If you don’t qualify automatically for Extra Help, it’s a good idea to apply for Extra Help, even if you’re not sure you qualify for this kind of help. With a quick visit to the Social Security Administration website, you can determine your eligibility and apply online.

Find Out if You Qualify for Extra Help

To see if you qualify, visit the Medicare section of the Social Security Administration website, at https://secure.ssa.gov/i1020/start(link opens in new window) . Answer the questions listed in the application to find out if you qualify.

How to Apply

The simple, four-page application is available at your local Social Security Administration office. You can also get an application form by calling Social Security’s toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (TTY: 1-800-325-0778).

Or you can apply for Extra Help online:

  1. Go to the SSA website, Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs(link opens in new window) 
  2. Click the blue bar at the bottom left labeled Apply for Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs
  3. Read the page and click Apply Now
  4. Answer some questions about your assets and sources of income
  5. Enter information about yourself, your spouse, and how you can be reached
  6. Review your application, submit it, and print your “receipt”

The application is secured, which means only you and the Social Security Administration can see the information you provide.

The CarePlus Social Services department assists our members apply for public assistance through a variety of government programs. The assistance and guidance is offered at no additional cost. Using this service is completely voluntary. If you choose not to use this service, your enrollment into a CarePlus plan will not be affected.

The specific agency that offers the options for assistance will be the one responsible to determine your eligibility. You are also free to apply for public assistance directly with the sponsoring agency.

Resource and income levels for “Extra Help” are published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annually.

For more information on the services offered by our Social Services team, please see the brochure by clicking on the following links below.

Social Services Department Brochure

Social Services Department Brochure – English(link opens in new window) 

Social Services Department Brochure – Spanish(link opens in new window) 

Remember, applying for Extra Help is NOT the same as joining a Prescription Drug plan. Whether you qualify for Extra Help or not, you must also enroll in a plan to get prescription drug coverage. The amount of Extra Help varies based on your income and resources.

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