Expand the Medicare Part D Extra Help program

PAN’s POSITION

The Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program—also known as Extra Help—should be modernized to increase enrollment and provide continuity for individuals from one year to the next. 

In accordance with the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law in August 2022, the income guidelines for the Extra Help program will increase to allow people with an income of up to 150 percent of the federal poverty limit to qualify for help, beginning in 2024.

Congress should modernize the Extra Help program to help more patients, eliminate cost-sharing for generic drugs, and ensure all eligible beneficiaries enroll in the program.

Why Congress should modernize the Extra Help program

The Extra Help program’s eligibility criteria require patients to have an income under 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Because the income limits are low, millions of Medicare beneficiaries who are economically insecure are ineligible for extra help with their out-of-pocket medication costs.

The program also requires cost sharing for generic drugs, and the application process is complicated, leaving many to miss out on support altogether. Specific efforts to ensure the program reaches the people who need it most are essential.