The Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) in Medicare helps people with Medicare pay for medications and lowers the cost of Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. With the low-income subsidy, you get assistance paying for your Medicare Part D monthly premium, deductible, copayments, and coinsurance. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), this subsidy is estimated to be worth about $5,000 a year.
The amount of the subsidy you receive will depend on resource limitations set by the Social Security Act as well as your income compared to the federal poverty level (in 2021, the federal poverty level for a family of four is $26,500).
Do I Qualify For A Low-Income Subsidy In Medicare?
Qualification for a low-income subsidy in Medicare depends on your income and assets. You may be eligible for the low-income subsidy if:
- Your annual assets and income are below the eligibility threshold
- Your annual income is above the eligibility limit, but you are supporting those who live in your household
The following are assets that count towards your eligibility:
- Cash or bank accounts
- Real estate that exists outside of your primary residence
- Mutual funds and IRAs
- Stocks and bonds
Resources such as your primary residence, insurance policies, and car do not count towards your eligibility. In 2021, you qualify for the low-income subsidy if your combined savings, real estate, and investments are not worth more than $29,520 (if you are married and living with your spouse) or $14,790 (if you are not living with your spouse or are not married).
How To Enroll In A Low-Income Subsidy In Medicare
To enroll in the low-income subsidy, you’ll need to apply. You can fill out an SSA-1020 form with the Social Security Administration.
This form is available online and in person at your local social security office. You can also call the Social Security Administration and apply over the phone or request that an application is mailed to you.
Some people are automatically enrolled in the low-income subsidy. If you have Medicare and Medicaid or Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you automatically receive this subsidy.
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