Extra Help Available for Ohio Medicare Beneficiaries
Those Eligible for Limited-Income Subsidy Can Save $3,900
Ohio Medicare beneficiaries who have limited income and resources may qualify for the Limited-Income Subsidy (LIS), or "Extra Help," to help pay for their Part D prescription drug plan costs. This low-income subsidy from Medicare helps beneficiaries pay for their monthly premiums, yearly deductibles, prescription coinsurance and copayments, saving them an average of $3,900 annually.
Some beneficiaries automatically qualify for Extra Help while others will need to apply. The Extra Help annual income limit is $16,245 for an individual and $21,855 for a married couple living together. The resource limit is $12,510 for an individual and $25,010 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds, but does not include a house or cars.
All Ohioans who think they may be eligible should contact their area agency on aging at 1-866-243-5678 or the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) at 1-800-686-1578 with questions about Part D, Extra Help and for enrollment assistance.
To apply for Extra Help:
After you apply, Social Security will review your application and send you a letter to let you know if you qualify. Once you qualify, you must enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. If you do not select a plan, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will select a plan for you. A complete listing of Part D plans in Ohio is available.
If you already receive Extra Help, you do not need to reapply in 2010. The Social Security Administration will determine if you are entitled to any additional assistance.
It is also important to check with friends and family to see if they qualify for Extra Help paying for Part D prescription expenses.
Information also is available on the Department of Insurance Web site.
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Programs & Benefits
Senior citizens and people with permanent disabilities can save money on property taxes by applying for the Homestead Exemption. There are no income requirements to get the tax break, which saves the typical homeowner about $400 per year. Homeowners who turn 65 this year can apply, and enrollment is open until June 7. Qualified applicants who missed last year's deadline also may sign up and get a reduction on last year's taxes. Homeowners already in the program do not need to re-apply unless they have moved or had a change in status. For more information, contact your county auditor.