| Thu, Jun 19, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Need Help With Your Medicare Premium Payment?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

medicare savings programAre you having trouble paying your Medicare Part A or Part B premium? Do you need help with your prescription drug plan premiums? According to Medicare.gov, if you have a low income, you may qualify for one or more of these four Medicare Savings Programs.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program plan (QMB)

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program plan (SLMB)  

Qualifying Individual Program plan (QI) 

You must apply every year for QI benefits. QI applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to people who have received QI benefits the previous year (you can’t get QI benefits if you qualify for Medicaid).

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program plan (QDWI)

The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium. You may qualify if any of these apply to you:

  • 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

In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions listed under “How to Apply.”

If you qualify for a QMB, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Medicare Savings Program 2014 Income Limits

Medicare Savings Program

Individual Monthly Income Limit*

Married Couple Monthly Income Limit*

Helps pay your:

QMB

$993

$1331

Part A and Part B premiums and other costs (deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments)

SLMB

$1187

$1593

Part B premiums only

QI

$1333

$1790

Part B premiums only

QDWI

$3975

$5329

Part A premiums only

Note: The income and resource limits in this chart may change in 2015.

* If you have income from working, you may qualify for these benefits even if your income is higher than these limits. Many states figure your income and resources differently, so you may qualify in your state even if you think you’re above these limits. Limits are slightly higher in Alaska and Hawaii. Some states have higher resource levels or don’t count resources. Check with your state to find out more.

How to apply for Medicare Savings Programs

If you answer “yes” to these 3 questions, you may qualify for a Medicare Savings Program in your state:

1. Do you have or are you eligible for Part A? If you aren’t sure, look on your red, white, and blue Medicare card.

2. Is your income for 2014 at or below the income limits shown? It’s important to apply if you think you could qualify for savings—even if your income or resources are higher than the amounts listed here.

3. Do you have limited resources? The 2014 resource limits for the QMB, SLMB, and QI programs are $7,160 for one person and $10,750 for a married couple. Resource limits for the QDWI program are $4,000 for one person or $6,000 for a married couple. 

Medicare Savings Program Resource Limits

Countable 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

The only way to know if you qualify for the Medicare Savings Program is to apply.

Call your State Medical Assistance (Medicaid) office to find out if you qualify. Visit Medicare.gov/contacts, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to get their phone number. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.

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:

Get Help Paying Medicare Costs: Medicare.gov

Medicare Savings Programs: Medicar.gov

Resources and Phone Numbers for Medicare-Related Questions: MedicareMadeClear.com

 

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