If you are struggling to pay Medicare co-payments, co-insurance, monthly premiums, or excess charges, you may be able to obtain financial assistance from your state of residence. Medicare Savings Programs may assist you in paying for Medicare Part A hospital insurance costs and Medicare Part B medical insurance deductibles, co-payments, and the like if you meet all the requirements.
There are four types of Medicare Savings Programs. The first is called the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program. It helps pay for Part A premiums, Part B premiums, and deductibles, co-insurance, and co-payments. It features an individual monthly income limit of $1,010, a married couple limit of $1,355. The individual resource limit is $7,280, and the married couple resource limit is $10,930.
The second type of Medicare Savings Program is called the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program. It pays for Part B premiums. It features an individual monthly income limit of $1,208, a married couple limit of $1,622, an individual resource limit of $7,280, and a married couple resource limit of $10,930.
The third type is called the Qualifying Individual Program. It requires you to apply every year for continued benefits. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. It pays for Part B premiums, and it is not available to patients who qualify for Medicaid. This savings program features an individual monthly income limit of $1,357, a married couple limit of $1,823. The individual resource limit is $7,280, and resource limit for a married couple is $10,930.
The fourth and last type of Medicare Savings Program is called the Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program. This helps pay Part A premiums. You may qualify if you are a working disabled person under age 65, you aren’t getting medical insurance from your state, you meet income and resource limits defined by your state, and you lost your premium-free Part A coverage upon returning to work. It features an individual monthly income limit of $4,045, a married couple limit of $5,425, an individual resource limit of $4,000, and a married couple resource limit of $6,000.
What’s included in the resource limit? Medicare defines countable resources as money in a checking or savings account, stocks, or bonds. Medicare does not count your home, a single car, a burial plot, up to $1,500 for burial expenses, furniture, or household and personal items against your resource limit.
Please note that all of the amounts listed above are currently as of 2016. Medicare may elect to change the resource limits for 2017, so you should apply for a Medicare Savings Program as soon as possible.