| Thu, May 26, 2016 @ 09:00 AM

4 Assistance Programs that Could Help Pay Your Medicare Costs

Posted by Medicare Made Clear


Are you living on a low income and need help paying your health care costs? You may qualify for one or more financial assistance programs designed to help pay some Medicare costs.

1. Medicaid

Medicaid is a federal- and state-funded assistance program that is managed by state and local governments. Medicaid may help pay some of the costs associated with Medicare like monthly premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance. Eligibility requirements and the application process may vary by state. Find out if you qualify for Medicaid.

2. Medicare Savings Programs

Medicare Savings Programs are available to help pay Medicare premiums, if you qualify. These programs may also help with out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, co-insurance and co-pays in some cases. Individuals who qualify for a Medicare Savings Program may also qualify for Extra Help, a program that helps pay prescription drug costs. There are four types of Medicare Savings Programs. Each program covers different costs and has different eligibility requirements. Learn more about Medicare Savings Programs in your state.

3. Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

PACE is a joint Medicare and Medicaid program that helps with some medical, social, and long-term care. PACE is for elderly or frail individuals who are at least 55 years or older and who qualify for nursing-home level care but choose to live in the community. PACE is not available in all states. As of 2016, there are 118 PACE programs in 32 states.1 Find out if there’s a PACE program near you.

4. Prescription Drug Assistance Programs

Extra Help is a program that helps pay Medicare Part D premiums, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurances. You may automatically qualify for Extra Help if you have both Medicare and Medicaid or if you have Medicare and receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You can learn about eligibility and apply online at the Social Security Administration web site.

State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs) may also help pay Medicare prescription drug plan premiums or other drug costs. Programs are available in many states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Coverage and qualification requirements vary by state. Find out if there’s an SPAP program in your state.

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility for most assistance programs depends in part on where you live and your annual income and resources. Countable resources usually include stocks, bonds and the money in your bank accounts. Items not counted toward your resources may include your home, one vehicle, a burial plot, money set aside for burial expenses and your personal belongings, such as furniture.


Do your research. Learn what each program covers, its eligibility requirements and how to apply for benefits.

There may be community-level programs available to you as well. You can learn about programs in your community by contacting your city, county or state offices for information.

Related Content

What’s the Difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

4 Types of Medicare Savings Programs and What They Cover

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


1 Find a PACE Program in Your Neighborhood, National PACE Association, March 24, 2016

2 Medicare Savings Programs, Medicare.gov, March 17, 2016


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