"Extra Help" Available for Prescription Drug Costs

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- – Changes to a federal assistance program may save some elderly or disabled Kentuckians thousands of dollars in prescription drug costs.

Paul Barnes, Commissioner for the Social Security Administration's southeast region, says this year qualifying for their Extra Help with Medicare Part D program got a little easier.

"There were some items we had to count as income and resources in years past that we no longer have to count. These changes mean that people who might have not been eligible last year or the previous year may now be eligible."

The Social Security Administration no longer counts the value of life insurance policies or household financial help from others toward its Extra Help resource and income limits. Barnes says on average, program beneficiaries saved $3,900 a year in monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.

Some 9,800 Kentuckians are currently enrolled in Extra Help. To see if you're eligible, visit your local Social Security Administration office, call 1-800-772-1213, or go online to socialsecurity.gov/extrahelp.