Are there Medicare options for low income families?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine

Your first option is Medicaid. Medicaid provides federal healthcare assistance to low-income families and aid for children and seniors. You can have both Medicare and Medicaid.


Medicare also has specific options for low-income families, like a program called Extra Help. Extra Help, or low-income subsidy, helps offset the cost of prescription medications, monthly premiums, and annual deductibles.


You automatically qualify for Extra Help if you have full Medicaid, receive help from Medicaid to pay Medicare Part B medical insurance, or if you get Supplementary Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI is a federal assistance program that helps low-income families meet their basic needs of food, clothes, and shelter.


The Medicare Savings Program through your state may also help you pay Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) premiums, and Part A and Part B (medical insurance) deductibles and co-payments. Low-income families can apply for Extra Help and the Medicare Savings Program at the same time.


To apply for help, contact the Social Security office or apply online at You can get more information from the Medicare hotline at 1-800-633-4227 or visit;



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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.