Cut your Medicare prescription drug costs with ‘Extra Help’

By Monica Cissell | June 27, 2023

There is some good news that may help you cut prescription drug costs. Thanks to a new prescription drug program that’s part of the Inflation Reduction Act, next year people with Medicare may qualify for additional savings through Medicare’s Extra Help program. This program helps people who are eligible pay their Medicare drug coverage (Part D) costs such as premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and other costs. In 2024, the program will expand and more people may qualify. You may already qualify.

In 2024, everyone who qualifies for Extra Help will pay:

• $0 for your Medicare drug plan premium.

• $0 for your plan deductible.

• A reduced amount for both generic and brand-name drugs.

If you get any level of Extra Help now, and meet the qualifications for next year, you’ll get these cost savings automatically — you don’t need to reapply.

To qualify:

• Your annual income must be below $21,870 for an individual, or $29,580 for a married couple in 2023.

• Your resources must be below $16,600 for an individual, or $33,240 for a married couple in 2023. Resources include money in a checking, savings, or retirement account, stocks, and bonds. Resources don’t include your home, one car, burial plots, up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you’ve put that money aside, furniture, and other household and personal items. 

These limits can change each year. Even if you don’t qualify for Extra Help now, you can reapply for Extra Help any time, if your income and resources change.

How do I apply for Extra Help?

Some people qualify automatically, but if you don’t, it’s easy to apply for Extra Help. Applications can be submitted online or by calling Social Security:

• Visit Social Security online at

• Call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call 1-800-325-0778.

After you apply, the Social Security Administration will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify for Extra Help. Once you qualify, you can choose a Medicare drug plan. If you qualify for Extra Help and don’t select a plan, Medicare will select a plan for you. If you feel like you need some assistance or would like to talk to someone locally about Extra Help, contact Central Plains Area Agency on Aging at 855-200-2372 and our knowledgeable staff can provide information and guidance.

Where can I get more information?

• Visit Social Security at or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) if you have questions about the Extra Help program or need help filling out the application.

• Visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to learn about Medicare drug plans, Extra Help, and other ways to lower your prescription drug costs. TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.