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Medicare Savings Programs

Can I get help paying for my Medicare Part B premiums?

If you have a limited income and assets, you may qualify for help paying for your Medicare Part B premium and other Medicare costs. Medicare and your state Medicaid program work together to provide you with this help. This help is called the “Medicare Savings Programs.”

Medicare Savings Programs

There are four different Medicare Savings Programs. Each program has a different income and resource eligibility limit. Even if you do not qualify for Medicaid, you may qualify for one of these programs to help you cover your Medicare costs.

The programs are listed below, along with what each program pays for, and the income and resource level limits you must meet to qualify.

Note: The amounts below offer general guidelines for the Medicare Savings Programs. Some states may have even higher income or resource limits for these programs. Or they may eliminate resource limits entirely. Also, note that the income amounts below include the $20 income disregard (since the first $20 of your monthly income is never counted).

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

What it covers: Medicare premiums (Part A, if applicable, and Part B), deductibles, copayments, and/or coinsurance
You may qualify if your monthly income is less than: $978 for individuals and$1,313 for couples
You can own up to this amount of resources and still qualify: $7,080 for individuals and$10,620 for couples

Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB)

What it covers: Medicare Part B premium
You may qualify if your monthly income is less than: $1,169 for individuals and$1,571 for couples
You can own up to this amount of resources and still qualify: $7,080 for individuals and$10,620 for couples

Qualified Individual (QI)*

What it covers: Medicare Part B premium
You may qualify if your monthly income is less than: $1,313 for individuals and$1,765 for couples
You can own up to this amount of resources and still qualify: $7,080 for individuals and$10,620 for couples
* Each state's QI program only admits a limited number of people. So apply early to be sure you get in.

Qualified Disabled and Working Individual (QDWI)

What it covers: Medicare Part A premium (for people with Medicare who are under age 65, disabled, and no longer qualify for free Medicare Part A only because they returned to work)
You may qualify if your monthly income is less than: $3,915 for individuals and$5,255 for couples
You can own up to this amount of resources and still qualify: $4,000 for individuals and$6,000 for couples

How do I find out more about these programs?

The BenefitsCheckUp questionnaire can help you find out if you qualify for one of the Medicare Savings Programs. BenefitsCheckUp® is a free online screening tool from the National Council on Aging.

Or you can check with your state's Medicaid or Medical Assistance office for more information about the rules in your state.

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