The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries with some Medicare costs. There are several types of Medicare Savings Programs depending on income, and they assist with Part B premiums, coinsurance, deductibles, and other costs associated with Medicare.

Medicare Savings Programs

There are several categories of MSPs. Each type of MSP is dependent on the situation. Beneficiaries enrolled in an MSP are sometimes referred to as Full Benefit Dual Eligible (FBDE).

FBDE means that the Medicare beneficiary has both Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare-Savings-Program
There are a few different types of Medicare Savings Programs including QMB, SLMB, & QI.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

QMB helps pay for Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays. These apply to services and items Medicare Covers.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB)

SLMB helps pay the Part B premium for beneficiaries that have Part A but a limited income and resources.

Qualifying Individual (QI)

QI is another program for Part A beneficiaries with limited income and resources. With QI, you must apply every year.

QI gets approved on a first-come, first-serve basis. Beneficiaries that had QI the previous year have priority. You cannot qualify for QI if you have Medicaid.

You will automatically qualify for extra help if you qualify for QMB, SLMB, or QI. Extra help assists with paying Part D premiums and medication coinsurance and copays.

If you are subject to a Part A, B, or D penalty, qualifying for a Medicare Savings Program or extra help could waive the penalty.

Medicare Saving Programs State-Specific Naming

Some states have different names for their Medicare Savings Programs. The chart below shows several examples.
You should check with the state Medicaid office for specific differences in your state.

StateProgramState Name
Alaska(SLMB)
(QI)
(SLMB Base)
(SLMB Plus)
Connecticut(QI)(ALMB)
North Carolina(QMB)
(SLMB)
(QI)
(QDWI)
(MQB-Q)
(MQB-B)
(MBQ -E)
(MWB)
New Hampshire(QI)(SLMB-135)
Oregon(QMB)
(SLMB)
(QI)
(QDWI)
(QMB-BAS)
(QMB-SMB)
(QMB-SMF)
(QMB-DW)
Wisconsin(QI)(SLMB Plus)

Qualifying for a Medicare Savings Program

Check your local Social Security office for your state’s limit. State limits could vary from the Federal limits.

Medicare Savings ProgramIndividual Monthly Income LimitsHousehold Monthly Income Limits
QMB$1,094$1,472
SLMB$1,308$1,762
QI$1,469$1,980
QDWI$4,379$5,892

Countable Resources for Medicare Savings Programs

Countable resources are resources that have a value that contributes to the value of your assets towards Medicare Savings Program resource limits.

The countable resources include money in your checking and savings accounts, stocks, and bonds.

Resources not included in your countable resources are your home, one car, burial plot, up to $1500 for burial insurance if you have that money set aside, furniture, and other household or personal items.

Medicare Savings ProgramIndividual Monthly Income LimitsHousehold Monthly Income Limits
QMB$7,970$11,960
SLMB$7,970$11,960
QI$7,970$11,960
QDWI$4,000$6,000

How to Get Additional Medicare Coverage with Your Medicare Savings Program

Medicare Advantage plans have $0 premiums in many areas. Adding a MA plan to your current MSP and Medicare can give additional benefits that Medicare doesn’t cover. Depending on your level of subsidy, they could lower what you pay when you use health care services and procedures.

Qualifying for Extra Help or an MSP can save money on your out-of-pocket Medicare costs.

How to Apply for a Medicare Savings Program

To find out if you qualify for a, you can visit SSA.gov or call your local Medicaid office. Medicare can answer questions about financial assistance with your Medicare premiums.

Medicare can give you the phone number of your local social security office and help to determine if you may qualify for help.

Program limits are subject to increase each year. Just because you did not qualify this year doesn’t mean it isn’t worth checking out next year.

You’ll need the documentation when you apply for an MSP. The documents required vary depending on the state you reside. You’ll want to include recent bank statements to apply for the program.

Have Additional Questions or Need Help?

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Written By:
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Lindsay Malzone, Lindsay Malzone is the Medicare editor for Medigap.com. She's been contributing to many well-known publications since 2017. Her passion is educating Medicare beneficiaries on all their supplemental Medicare options so they can make an informed decision on their healthcare coverage.
Reviewed By:
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Rodolfo Marrero, Rodolfo Marrero is one of the co-founders at Medigap.com. He has been helping consumers find the right coverage since the site was founded in 2013. Rodolfo is a licensed insurance agent that works hand-in-hand with the team to ensure the accuracy of the content.