How to Apply for Assistance

How to Apply for Assistance

Qualifying 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 still must fill out an application 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,” we recommend you still apply, even if you are not sure you qualify for this kind of help. You can determine your eligibility and apply at the Social Security Administration website.

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

To apply for “Extra Help,” you can complete an application at your local Social Security Administration office. You also can 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 questions about your assets and sources of income.
  5. Enter information about yourself, your spouse (if applicable), and how you can be reached.
  6. Review and submit your application, and print your "receipt."

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

The CarePlus Social Services team helps our members apply for public assistance through a variety of state and federal programs. We offer this assistance and guidance at no additional cost to our members. Using this service is voluntary. Choosing not to use this voluntary service will not affect your enrollment in a CarePlus plan.

The specific agency that offers the options for assistance will determine your eligibility. You also can apply for public assistance directly with the sponsoring agency.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) annually publishes resource and income levels for "Extra Help.”

For more information on the services our Social Services team offers, please read the following brochure (available in English and in Spanish):

Social Services Department Brochure

Remember, applying for “Extra Help” is not the same as joining a prescription drug plan (PDP). Whether you qualify for “Extra Help” or not, you also must enroll in a plan to get prescription drug coverage. The amount of “Extra Help” varies based on each individual’s income and resources.