What Is a Medicare Savings Program?
If you are struggling to pay your Medicare costs, you may be eligible for payment assistance from your state through one of four Medicare savings programs. Generally, you are eligible to apply if you qualify for or currently receive Part A coverage and your income and assets are less than program limits. You must submit an application to your state's Medicaid agency, which can be located by calling 1-800-633-4227 or online at Medicare.gov.
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Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program
The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program, or QMB, helps pay for both Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles and coinsurance. To be eligible, your income cannot exceed $1,001 per month if you're single and your total assets cannot have a value greater than $7,280, as of 2015. If you're married, your income cannot be more than $1,248 per month or total assets greater than $10,930. For purposes of QMB, assets include stocks, money in a bank account and bonds. Not included are one car, your home, a burial plot, furniture, personal and household items, and burial expenses up to $1,500 if funds have already been saved for that purpose.
Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program
The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program, or SLMB, provides payment assistance for Part B premiums only. Your monthly income cannot exceed $1,197 if you're single or $1,613 if you're married,
as of 2015. As with QMB, the asset limit for singles is $7,280 and $10,930 for married couples.
Qualifying Individual Program
The Qualifying Individual Program, or QI, also provides payment assistance for Plan B premiums. However, you must apply for QI each year and assistance is provided on a first-come first-served basis. Your application will be granted priority status if you received QI benefits the previous year. If single, your monthly income cannot be greater than $1,345 and your total assets cannot exceed a value of $7,280, as of 2015. If you're married, the income and asset limits are set at $1,813 and $10,930 respectively.
Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program
The Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program, or QDWI, only helps pay for Part A premiums. To qualify, you typically must be experiencing one of four conditions. One is being younger than 65, disabled and employed. Another is having lost Part A premium-free benefits upon returning to work. The third is not receiving medical benefits from your state. The last one is meeting your state's income and asset requirements. The QDWI program requires that your income not exceed $1,962 per month and that you have no more than $4,000 in assets if you're single, as of 2015. If you're married, your income cannot exceed $2,655 per month and total assets cannot exceed $6,000 in value.Source: ehow.com