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Help with Medicare Costs

You may be eligible for programs to help cover Medicare and prescription drug costs.

What are Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)?

Seniors and younger adults with disabilities who are Medicare eligible may be able to enroll in a Medicare Savings Program. Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) provide assistance through the state of Iowa to help pay Medicare premiums. In 2024 the premium is $174.70 a month. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.  There are a variety of programs available, and eligibility will depend on your income and resources.

What is the Low-Income Subsidy?

Anyone who qualifies for an MSP is also eligible to receive the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (called LIS or Extra Help). This benefit helps cover drug plan premiums and prescription co-pays. The Social Security Administration estimates that those with LIS receive benefits worth $5,900 per year. 

How do I know if I am eligible?

If your income falls below $1,903 a month for a single person, or $2,575 a month for a married couple, AND your resources are below $17,220 for a single person and $34,360 for a married couple you may be eligible.  Please note that your primary home and vehicle do not count as resources.  

Where can I get help applying for the Medicare Savings Programs or Low-Income-Subsidy?

If you believe you (or someone you know) may be eligible for these programs, you can get assistance from Iowa SHIIP/ SMP.  Contacts us 1-800-351-4664 for a free screening and application assistance. Our trained SHIIP/ SMP counselors can also help you with additional information and counseling to ensure your health insurance needs are being met. 

**Content adapted from the National Council on Ageing.