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Prescription Drug Help

August 1, 2008, 5:00 PM by Kelli Grant

If you get Medicaid Supplemental Security Income, or if your Medicare premiums are paid for by the state, you automatically qualify for extra help when paying for your medication. But there are thousands of people in KELOLAND who qualify for the extra help and they aren't taking advantage of it. 

If you're on a limited income you could be saving hundreds, even thousands of dollars on your prescription drug costs. If you're a single person and your annual income is less than $15,600 dollars, you qualify. A married couple qualifies for the extra help if they make less than $21,000 dollars a year.

Mike Fierberg with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says, “Their co-payments for each prescription range from about $2.25 for a generic product to about $5.65 cents for a brand name drug. That's all they pay even 
if the drug cost hundreds of dollars retail. So the savings are tremendous.” 

Out of the nearly 4,000 South Dakotans that aren't taking advantage of the extra help, 700 live in Minnehaha County. 

Beneficiary Gary Harmening says, “Check in to it. There's people, there's help out there. If it’s available you should take advantage of it. Because it is very helpful.” 

If you believe you qualify, you can either apply at your social security office, or you can call them and they can mail out an application. Or you can apply online. 

Senior Health Information & Insurance Education


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