MHI – Q: Is there financial assistance for Part D?

Posted by MedEd at MHI
A: Great question! Financial assistance is available to help people on Medicare with the cost of their drugs. Known as LIS (low-income subsidy) or Extra Help, the program is estimated to save people an average of $4,000/year.

Those who qualify for this program will have either reduced or no monthly premiums. They will not pay an annual deductible and will pay very low copays for their drugs. Copays vary between $1.25-$3.35 for generic medications and $3.70-$8.35 for brand name medications if approved for full LIS.

If approved for partial LIS, the monthly premium is based on a sliding scale, the annual deductible is $83 and the coinsurance will be 15% of the cost of the drug.

There’s more! Whether you are approved for full or partial LIS, you would be protected from the donut hole. Any late enrollment penalty you have because you didn’t enroll in your drug plan on time goes away. In addition, you would have a continuous Special Enrollment Period to switch to another drug plan.

Here are the 2018 income and asset limits for both levels LIS:
FULL LIS Single Married
Monthly Income $1,386 $1,872
Assets/Resources $9,060 $14,340
PARTIAL LIS Single Married
Monthly Income $1,538 $2,078
Assets/Resources $14,100 $28,150

You can get more information about LIS at You can enroll online at or at The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) volunteers will also walk you through the application process. Find your local SHIP program at

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