Based on the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released 2022
Medicare Part D prescription drug plan (PDP) landscape data, most states will offer
Medicare Part D plans qualify for the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) $0 premium
in 2022 as compared to 2021.
Overall, forty-eight (48) states will lose one or more LIS qualifying plan options,
three states will continue to have the same number of options, and
no states will add LIS $0 premium qualifying Medicare Part D plans.
The total number of $0 premium LIS-qualifying plans decreased in 2022 (see second chart below) from 259 qualifying plans in 2021 to 196 LIS plans in 2022.
The number of unique 2022 Medicare Part D plans that qualify for the LIS $0 premium has fallen to 11 prescription drug plans from 15 qualifying plans in 2021 - the lowest level since the start of the Medicare Part D program.
The states with the smallest selection of $0-premium LIS 2022 Medicare Part D plans are . . .
The states with the smallest selection of 2022 Medicare Part D plans qualifying for the LIS $0 premium are Florida, Alaska, Ohio, and New York -- all offering only four (4) LIS $0-premium qualifying Medicare Part D plans.
The state with the largest selection of LIS-qualifying $0 premium Medicare Part D plans is . . .
The state offering the largest selection of $0 premium LIS plans is Arizona whose residents will have nine (9) LIS plan options.
Over the past few years, the number of Medicare Part D plans qualifying for the $0-premium Low-Income Subsidy increased,
paralleling the increase in the total number of stand-alone Medicare Part D plans across the country. The average number of
LIS-qualifying plans on a state-by-state basis has somewhat stabilized (with an average of between 14 to 16 plans each year).
However, in 2022, we will see the first meaningful reduction in the number of LIS-qualifying plans.
Question: Which Medicare Part D plans qualify for the full Low-Income Subsidy $0 premium in my state?
Each year, insurance companies adjust their Medicare Part D plan premiums, and some Medicare Part D plans raise their premiums and move their prescription drug plans above the state low-income subsidy (LIS) benchmark limits, while other Part D plan sponsors lower their monthly premiums so that their plans can qualify for a state’s $0 premium.
This means that the number of Medicare Part D plans qualifying for the LIS $0 premium can change each year. Click on the 2022 premium for your state in our state low-income subsidy (LIS) benchmark limits article to see qualifying plans in your state.
More on Medicare Part D Extra Help
The Medicare Part D Extra Help or the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) is a federal program helping low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay a portion of their Medicare Part D prescription drug costs. Based on a person’s income and financial resources, the Extra Help or LIS program pays all or part of a person’s monthly Medicare Part D plan premiums and a significant portion of the beneficiary’s medication costs.
If you qualify for the full-LIS program, you can choose a Medicare Part D plan that qualifies for your state’s $0 monthly premium or allow yourself to be automatically enrolled in a plan that qualifies for the $0 premium. If you enroll in a Medicare Part D plan that does not qualify for the $0 premium, you will pay a portion of the premium. If you choose your own Medicare Part D plan, the monthly premium amount you will pay is shown under the "Benefit Details" button on our Medicare Part D plan finder.
Please note, our Medicare Part D plan finder allows you to view the premiums
of a Medicare Part D plan based on whether you receive full - or partial-LIS benefits.
The PDP-Finder.com feature looks like this:
Because of changes in the annual Medicare Part D plan premiums and state LIS benchmarks,
some full low-income subsidy qualifying Medicare beneficiaries (such as people who are
Medicare/Medicaid dual-eligible beneficiaries) may be automatically reassigned to new
2022 Medicare Part D plans that will still qualify for the $0 monthly premium.
However, Extra Help recipients who "chose" their own plan in the past (these beneficiaries are also referred to as "choosers") may not be auto-reassigned to a new 2022 LIS qualifying plan and may need to select a new 2022 Medicare Part D plan or Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage that still meets the $0 monthly premium threshold (or pay the small monthly premium). As reference, you can use our PDP-Finder to see LIS qualifying plans in your state. Be sure to select "Yes, show only plans that qualify for $0 premium". Click here to see an example for Texas.
Not sure where to begin?
For more information on Medicare Part D plans that qualify for your state's low-income $0 premium benchmark, please call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227 and speak with a Medicare representative to learn more about your Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plan options.