TN 15 (09-17)
HI 03050.020 Redetermination of Eligibility for Medicare Part D Extra Help (Low-Income Subsidy)
A. Background for LIS redeterminations
Public Law 108-173, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA), requires the Social Security Administration (SSA) to periodically review a beneficiary’s continuing eligibility for Medicare Part D Extra Help and the amount of Extra Help (also known as low-income subsidy, LIS, or subsidy). A change in income, resources, or household composition can affect a beneficiary’s eligibility for Extra Help and the subsidy amount.
Each year in August, SSA systems select beneficiaries who receive Extra Help and meet the criteria for an Extra Help redetermination. SSA mails these beneficiaries an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-REDE (Social Security Administration Review Of Your Eligibility For Extra Help).
SSA mails Extra Help beneficiaries who experience a Subsidy-Changing Event (SCE) an SSA-1026-OCR-SM-SCE .
We instruct beneficiaries to complete the SSA-1026 form and return it to the Wilkes-Barre Direct Operations Center (WBDOC) for processing. For additional information regarding timeframes for returning an SSA-1026 form see HI 03050.025B.2. and HI 03050.030D.
B. Four types of Extra Help redeterminations
There are four types of LIS redeterminations:
Redeterminations due to an SCE;
Redeterminations following a report of an Other Event (For definition of Other Event see HI 03050.025A);
Initial Redeterminations; and
SSA makes subsidy determinations for a calendar year. The determinations will not change during the year unless the beneficiary:
Appeals the determination;
Reports an SCE; or
Becomes eligible for SSI, Medicaid, or the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) and is therefore deemed eligible for Extra Help.
There are no mandatory reporting rules in the Medicare Part D Extra Help program.
Any person, company, or agency may report events that affect a beneficiary's subsidy. The source of information does not affect how the report of change is processed.
Subsidy beneficiaries are entitled to due process and can appeal the agency's determination. They may also be entitled to subsidy continuation until SSA makes a determination at the appeal level. For additional Extra Help appeal information, see HI 03040.001.
C. Reports by beneficiaries who are deemed eligible for Extra Help
Beneficiaries who are deemed eligible for Extra Help maintain that deemed status through the calendar year even if they lose eligibility for the program on which their deemed status is based (i.e., they become ineligible for SSI, Medicaid and/or the MSP). If the beneficiary is deemed eligible for Extra Help because he or she is SSI-eligible, process the SSI report. For processing beneficiary reports that can affect SSI eligibility see SI 02301.000. Changes may affect eligibility for the program through which he or she is deemed. As a result, the beneficiary should report changes directly to that program. If the beneficiary is deemed eligible for Extra Help based on Medicaid or MSP eligibility and contacts SSA to report a change, refer the beneficiary to the State Medicaid agency.
D. Beneficiary loses Extra Help deemed status because of ineligibility
A person who becomes ineligible for SSI, Medicaid, or benefits through the MSP, loses deemed status for the following calendar year. He or she will need to file an application for Medicare Part D Extra Help to be eligible for the subsidy the following calendar year. If the person contacts SSA, tell him or her that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will send a letter later in the year, usually in September, which will include an application form. He or she should file an application at that time.
The New York Regional Office (NYRO) posts the names and SSNs of the beneficiaries receiving this notice to the NYRO Medicare Follow-up website for the servicing field office (FO) under the action type of “September CCYY (the current year will be displayed) Nondeemed Notices”. FOs do not perform follow-ups for beneficiaries who lost their deemed status for Extra Help. In mid-November, the vendor who handles the Medicare Reminder System (MRS) makes follow-up telephone calls to beneficiaries who failed to return the SSA-1020 (Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs) and reminds them to complete and return the SSA-1020 in order to retain eligibility for the Extra Help.
If beneficiaries contact SSA regarding the Extra Help application included with the notice, the FO must post results to the NYRO Medicare Follow-up website. National 800 Number Network (N8NN) staff and Workload Support Unit (WSU) claim takers do not document the website regarding calls from beneficiaries wishing to file for Extra Help.
E. Reports of change of address
For Title II beneficiaries, process a change of address report immediately via the Postentitlement Online System (POS) screen as shown in MS T2PE 003.001. This will update the address on the beneficiary's Master Beneficiary Record (MBR). The Medicare database uses the MBR address. If the beneficiary also receives Title XVI benefits, follow normal Title XVI procedures for processing the change of address. For Title II and Title XVI change of address policy and procedures see GN 02605.000 and SI 02306.010.
GN 02605.000 Processing Change of Address
HI 03050.025 Subsidy-Changing Event (SCE) and Other Event
HI 03050.030 Initial and Cyclical Redeterminations Process for Extra Help
HI 03050.035 Extra Help Redetermination Forms
HI 03050.040 Exception Processing for Form SSA-1026 Questions
SI 02301.000 Posteligibility Changes