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Prescription drug assistance available for low-income Medicare beneficiaries

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RALEIGH — Medicare beneficiaries who have limited incomes and assets may be eligible for extra help to pay for their prescription drugs.

The federal Low-Income Subsidy program, also known as Extra Help, assists qualified Medicare beneficiaries with out-of-pocket expenses associated with Medicare Part D prescription drugs.

There are more than 80,000 Medicare beneficiaries in North Carolina who may be eligible for help but have yet to apply. SHIIP, the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program and a division of the N.C. Department of Insurance, is joining with partners around the state to help beneficiaries understand and apply for Extra Help.

“Many who are eligible for this assistance are not aware that it is available to them,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey. “It is our goal to get the message of Extra Help out to Medicare beneficiaries statewide and get them enrolled so they can begin receiving help with their Medicare prescription drug costs.”

Granville County Senior Services can help Medicare beneficiaries in Granville County with the enrollment process for Extra Help. Contact Carolyn Keith at 919-693-1930 to schedule an appointment.

To qualify for Extra Help, a Medicare beneficiary must meet certain income, resource and asset level requirements. The income and asset limits for Extra Help are $1,508 per month with assets up to $13,820 for those who are single, and $2,030 per month with assets up to $27,600 for those who are married.

SHIIP, a division of the North Carolina Department of Insurance, has volunteers in all 100 counties in North Carolina who offer one-on-one counseling and provide free, unbiased information about Medicare, Medicare supplements, Medicare Part D, Medicare Advantage and health plan options and long-term care insurance. To contact SHIIP, call 1-855-408-1212 or visit www.ncshiip.com.

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