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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Meininger

Now on the Books: Expanded Medicare Part D Coverage for Low-income Older Adults ("Extra Help")

On June 12, the Biden-Harris Administration expanded support for the Extra Help program that was introduced by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). Extra Help is designed for low-income Medicare Part D beneficiaries and fully covers deductible and premium costs as well as creates fixed copayments. With the expansion, older adults who earn an annual income of up to $21,870 are now eligible for full Extra Help benefits.

These changes are just the beginning of federal efforts targeting discrepancies in Extra Help coverage. Currently, Extra Help coverage is largely utilized by White Non-Hispanic individuals and metropolitan area residents, leaving racial and ethnic minorities and rural communities underserved. Individuals with disabilities or limited English proficiency are also underserved. Federal departments overseeing the Extra Help expansion are now forming partnerships at the state level in order to bring Extra Help to underserved populations.


For assistance with Extra Help benefits questions or eligibility, Medicare Part D beneficiaries should contact their local Alabama Area Agency on Aging or call 1-800-AGE-LINE. More information can be found via the following links:


(https://www.hhs.gov/about/news/2023/06/12/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-new-tools-lower-prescription-drug-costs-low-income-seniors-people-disabilities.html)


(https://alabamaageline.gov/helpservices).




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