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Questions about limited income and medication

Questions about limited income and medication

Your questions on Medicare and Medicaid answered by the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) an objective, not-for-profit counseling, assistance and advocacy service sponsored by DPHHS of Montana and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

I have a limited income and my medication costs are so high I must choose between food and medicines.  Is there help?

If you have Medicare Part A or B and your income is low to moderate, a Social Security Program called Extra Help may help you afford your prescription drug plan costs. This program can:

  • Reduce or eliminate your Medicare Part D premium
  • Reduce or eliminate your Medicare Part D deductible
  • Set reduced fixed copays for the cost of your medications at the pharmacy
  • Eliminate the “DONUTHOLE”
  • Allow you to enroll or change your Medicare D Plan outside the annual enrollment period.

This program has income and asset limitations to qualify for this benefit.  Check the table below to see if you may qualify for this helpful program.


 Checking and savings   accounts, 401K’s, stocks, bonds, CD’s etc.

INCOME - Social Security-including Medicare Part B deducted before deposited-and pensions, interest, rental income etc.


Less than $14,790

No more than $1610 monthly


Less than $29,520

No more than $2177 monthly

$400 additional income per month for each additional individual in household

For more information or assistance applying for Extra Help call your local SHIP counselor at 1-800-551-3191. In Yellowstone County call 406-259-5212.

Do you have a question about Medicare or Medicaid that you would like answered?  Please send your question to SHIP Program c/o Adult Resource Alliance, 1505 Avenue D, Billings, MT 59102 or


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