| Thu, Sep 05, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

4 Ways You Could Get Help With Medicare Costs

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medical expensesMedicare beneficiaries who have limited income and resources may get help paying their Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses.

Four Medicare Savings Programs are available from Medicaid. Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps pay medical expenses for people with limited income and resources.

Individuals who qualify for both Medicare and for some benefits through Medicaid are often called “dual eligible.” As a dual eligible, you remain enrolled in and receive benefits from Medicare. In addition, you receive help paying your Medicare premiums and, sometimes, out-of-pocket medical expenses, from Medicaid. Out-of-pocket medical expenses may include deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.

The four Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) are:

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB)

2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB)

3. Qualifying Individual Program (QI)

4. Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program (QDWI)

    Medicare created this table to help you understand the different programs. It shows income limits for each program and what each helps pay for.


    Medicare Savings Program

    2013 Monthly

    Income Limit*

    Helps Pay For

    Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

    Individual: $968

    Married Couple: $1313

    Part A premiums

    Part B premiums




    Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)

    Individual: $1169

    Married Couple: $1571

    Part B premiums

    Qualifying Individual (QI)

    Individual: $1313

    Married Couple: $1765

    Part B premiums

    Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI)

    Individual: $3915

    Married Couple: $5225

    Part A premiums

    *You may apply even if your income is higher. Limits may be different for 2014. Alaska and Hawaii limits may be different.

    It’s important to apply for help with Medicare expenses if you think you may qualify—even if your income is over the limits shown. This is true if you have a Medicare Advantage plan as well. Individual states have their own programs and qualification criteria. In addition, the income limits may be different in 2014. 

    If you qualify for a QMB, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify for Extra Help. Extra Help is a program that helps pay some of the costs for Medicare prescription drug coverage (Part D).

    You can get more information about Medicare Savings Programs and apply by contacting your state Medicaid office

    For more information, 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. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


    Medicare Versus Medicaid: Learn more about these two programs.

    Medicaid Coverage of Medicare Beneficiaries at a Glance: Read Medicare’s information about dual eligible beneficiaries.

    Medicare.gov: Visit the official U.S. government site for Medicare.