Key Takeaways

  • The many options for help paying for prescriptions include the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program, also known as LIS/Extra Help.

  • If you don't qualify for Extra Help, other ways to save include Patient Assistance Programs, Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs, support from a certified charity, or your county health department.

  • NCOA's BenefitsCheckUp can help you find support you might be eligible for to help pay for medications, food, and more.

Medicare’s Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS/Extra Help) program helps pay for a portion of Part D prescription drug plan costs, including Part D premiums, deductibles, and copayments.

Eligibility for the program depends on your income and assets. To determine your eligibility, start by taking an online assessment at BenefitsCheckUp®. Online applications are available in English and Spanish.

If you do not qualify for the Extra Help program, there several other ways to get help.

  • If you are taking brand name drugs, talk to your doctor about switching to generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less, and some plans may cover generic drugs if the coverage gap is reached. Or ask the doctor about switching to a lower-cost brand name drug.
  • You can also ask if you can get a drug at a lower copay. This is important if your drug has a high copay.
  • You may also ask your doctor if you can get more pills or a higher dose each month.
  • Find a Pharmaceutical Assistance Program for your prescriptions at
  • Apply for help from a certified charity like a copay foundation, if there is one for your medicines.
  • Apply for help from a Patient Assistance Program (PAP) that serves people in Medicare Part D plans. If enrolled in the Patient Assistance Program, out-of-pocket costs must be submitted to Medicare or they will not count towards the total drug costs. Check with your Part D plan to see how to submit out-of-pocket costs.
  • See if your doctor can give you free samples of any of the medicines taken.
  • Contact your county public health department to see if they have a free medicine program.