Dialysis and “Extra Help” with Meds

Most experienced Social Workers know this and will get you set up with this program as soon as you go on Medicare. However, many don’t which means you need to find this yourself. I hope I saved you some hunting time.

After three years on private pay or commercial insurance, you must transition to Medicare. You can do so prior to that but the dialysis facilities won’t encourage the move because commercial insurance pays much more than than Medicare. In your self-interest, you might want to consider it for the benefit of the Extra Help program which will help considerably to make your medications much more affordable (if you qualify).

When I was at “The Center from Hell”, I was asked to sign a form wherein I “opted out” from Medicare. The facility wanted me to stay on private pay insurance so they would get paid more for my dialysis. The problem was my insurance had huge deductibles and co-pays leaving me paying several hundred dollars a month for dialysis and medications. It was the cost for medications that was the larger share on my monthly cost. I was bleeding money. When I left that center, the first thing the new Social Worker did was get me on Medicare and Extra Help. Finally I was able to afford my medications!

It works like this: Medicare Part D and, in some cases, Part B will pay 80 percent of your medications leaving you responsible for the remaining 20%. In some cases, that can mean several hundred dollar per month for which you are responsible. If you have living on a low income, even an extra hundred a month is too much. Extra Help contributes to pay the twenty percent not paid by Medicare.

(Even after a kidney transplant, I still use Extra Help because I turned 65 while on dialysis for nearly ten years. That’s REALLY helpful because my meds would be about $3000/month!)

So, if you qualify, Extra Help can allow you to save a considerable amount on medications.

Check it out… https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/prescriptionhelp/

That website also has some valuable information about other Medicare and Social Security programs. Start clickin’ them links! Enjoy.

I hope this was helpful.

(c)2021 DevonTexas All Rights Reserved.

About DevonTexas

I am a person with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) which means my kidneys don't work. Forty or so years ago that would have been a death sentence but today there is Dialysis which means I can be hooked up to a machine that will clean my blood as the kidneys should. Three days a week, I go to a center and have too very large needles stuck in my arm to remove and replace my blood as it passes through a process where it's cleaned and the fluid is removed, a process taking a little over four hours each time. I want to advance knowledge about dialysis so that other patients can learn from my experience and mistakes. We shouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, eh? There is so much to be learned and experienced about our predicament. There are vast resources available to support us and enrich our lives but many patients don't know about them. There are also many issues that we have to deal with whether we want to or not. So I blog about them. All comments are confidential until I approve them. If you don't want your comment public, let me know and I will respect that. So, feel free to leave a comment. Enjoy.
This entry was posted in CMS, dialysis, Dialysis Center, Insurance, Medicare, Medications, New Patient, Social Work, Transplant and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Dialysis and “Extra Help” with Meds

  1. Great work Dev!

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  2. renalgal22 says:

    Always helpful information!!! Thanks Devon

    Meshia’s Hope: Empowering persons with CKD

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