Medicare Assistance Program Director Ray Walker of the Oklahoma Insurance Department talks about qualifications for assistance in paying Medicare Prescription Drug Costs through the Extra Help Program.

1. What is the Extra Help Program?

As many Oklahomans are still experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal Extra Help Program may be available to you. The Extra Help program assists qualified Medicare beneficiaries with out-of-pocket costs associated with Medicare Part D prescription drug expenses. More than 17,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Oklahoma may be eligible for this program but have yet to apply.

2. What is the Medicare Assistance Program, also known as MAP?

The Medicare Assistance Program is a division of the Oklahoma Insurance Department that can help Medicare beneficiaries understand and apply for this assistance. MAP provides free, unbiased information to help Oklahomans understand Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage and other health plan options.

3. What is the reason for the program?

Having to choose between buying groceries or paying for prescription drugs is a decision no Medicare beneficiary should have to make.

4. What are the income and asset limits for participants in the Extra Help program?

The income and asset limits for Extra Help are: $1,469 per month with assets up to $9,470 if you are single and $1,980 per month with assets up to $14,960 if you are married.

5. What type of assistance is available and how can individuals learn if they qualify?

Individuals who qualify for this program will receive assistance with their Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. This means individuals who are eligible for Full Extra Help will have their Part D monthly premium paid up to $29.11 per month. They will pay a reduced co-pay of $3.70 for generic drugs and $9.20 for name-brand drugs.

Even with higher income and resources, you may qualify for partial Extra Help, which will pay all or part of the monthly premium as well as a portion of the co-pays and coinsurance. To see if you qualify for the Extra Help program, call the Oklahoma Medicare Assistance Program at 1-800-763-2828 or visit https://www.oid.ok.gov/ship-low-income-subsidy/.

Those with questions about other insurance issues, please contact the Oklahoma Insurance Department at 1-800-522-0071 or visit its website at www.oid.ok.gov.

The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.

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