| Tue, Nov 17, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

4 Types of Medicare Savings Programs and What They Cover

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medicare savings programMedicare Savings Programs (MSP) are programs that help pay Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, like Part A and Part B deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and prescription drugs.

Apply for a Medicare Savings Program with your state’s Medicaid office if you meet all of the following requirements.

  • You have or are eligible for Medicare Part A
  • You do not exceed the maximum income requirements (see table below)
  • You do not exceed the maximum limited resources requirements (see table below)

There are four types of Medicare Savings Programs. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may qualify for one or more of the following programs.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB):

  • Covers Medicare Part A & Part B deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB):

  • Covers Medicare Part B premiums only.

Qualifying Individual Program (QI):

  • Covers Medicare Part B premiums only.
  • You must apply every year for QI benefits. Applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to people who got QI benefits the previous year. (You can’t get QI benefits if you qualify for Medicaid).

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program:

  • Covers Medicare Part A premiums only.
  • To qualify for this program:
    • You’re a working disabled person under 65
    • You lost your premium-free Part A when you went back to work
    • You aren’t getting medical assistance from your state
    • You meet the income and resource limits required by your state

If you qualify for one of the first three programs (QMB, SLMB, or QI) you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Source: Medicare Savings Program, Medicare.gov, September 4, 2015

2015 Individual and Married Couple Income and Resource Limits 

2015 Income and Resource Limits Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program Qualifying Individual (QI) Program Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program1
Individual Monthly Income $1,001 $1,197 $1,345 $1,962
Married Couple monthly income $1,348 $1,613 $1,813 $2,655
Individual Resources $7,280 $7,280 $7,280 $4,000
Married Couple Resources $10,930 $10,930 $10,930 $6,000

Source: Medicare Savings Program, Medicare.gov, September 4, 2015Countable resources include:

  • Money in a checking or savings account
  • Stocks
  • Bonds

Countable resources don’t include:

  • Your home
  • One car
  • Burial plot
  • Up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you have put that money aside
  • Furniture
  • Other household and personal items 

Income and resource amounts may increase in 2016. You should apply for benefits even if your income or resources are higher than the limits shown above. You may still qualify for savings. Income and resource limits are slightly higher in Hawaii and Alaska.

Source: Medicare Savings Program, Medicare.gov, September 4, 2015

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For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.

Resources:

Medicare Savings Program, Medicare.gov, September 4, 2015

 

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