Medicare Savings Programs
When it comes to Medicare premiums, there are programs available with your state that you may be unaware of. Medicare developed these programs to help Medicare beneficiaries with low income pay their healthcare costs. Medicare Savings Programs can help with premiums for A and B and in some cases, may also pay for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. There are certain conditions that must be met to qualify for these programs.
Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
This program helps pay for Part A premiums, Part B premiums, and deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for services and items covered by Medicare. There are monthly income limits as well as resource limits for individual and married couples to qualify. With this program, Medicare providers are not allowed to bill you for services and items that are covered by Medicare, except for outpatient drugs.
Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
This is a state program that helps pay Part B premiums for people who have Part A and limited income resources. Like the previous program, it also has income and resource limits to qualify.
Qualifying Individual (QI) Program
The QI program helps pay Part B premiums. You must apply every year and applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. It is important to note that if you qualify for Medicaid, you cannot get the QI benefits. There are income and resource limits to qualify.
Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium and you may qualify if you have a disability, are still working, and you lost your Social Security disability benefits and premium-free Part A because you returned to work. Along with those requirements, there are income and resource limits that must be met to qualify.
If you qualify for the QMB, SLMB, or QI programs, you also automatically qualify for the Extra Help program which helps pay for Medicare drug coverage, such as plan premiums, deductibles, and costs when filling prescriptions. To find out if you qualify for any of these Medicare Savings Programs, contact your state Medicaid Office.