Today is Mother’s Day, and it’s always nice to give Mom a card, flowers or candy, but this year, people all over the country are helping their moms save an estimated $4,000 annually on the cost of Medicare prescription drugs. You can help your mom too, and it won’t cost you a dime.
If your mother has Medicare coverage and has limited income and resources, she may be eligible for Extra Help — available through Social Security — to pay part of her monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments.
To figure out whether your mother is eligible, Social Security needs to know her income and the value of her savings, investments and real estate (other than the home she lives in). To qualify for the Extra Help, she must receive Medicare and have:
Income limited to $17,505 for an individual or $23,595 for a married couple living together. Even if your mom’s annual income is higher, she still may be able to get some help. Some examples where income may be higher include if she and, if married, her spouse:
n Support other family members who live with them;
n Have earnings from work; or
n Live in Alaska or Hawaii.
Resources limited to $13,440 for an individual or $26,860 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds. We do not count her house or car as resources.
We have an easy-to-use online application that you can help Mom complete. You can find it at www. socialsecurity.gov/ prescriptionhelp. To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020).
To learn more about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods, visit www.medicare .gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).
This Mother’s Day, give your mom a gift she can really use without spending a dime — savings of around $4,000 a year on her Medicare prescription drug costs! Flowers wither and candy won’t last long, but the Extra Help through Social Security will keep on giving throughout the year. As Father’s Day approaches, keep in mind that you can get the same “free gift” of Extra Help for Dad! Learn more by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp . The Tyler office is at 5509 S. Donnybrook Ave.
Leo Rossler is a Social Security district manager based in Tyler.