Help For Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries

People on Medicare with low income can get help paying their Medicare Part B premium and possibly their Medicare co-pays and deductibles. It all depends on how low their income is.

The income limits provided below apply to most states, but not all. Hawaii and Connecticut have much higher income levels for getting help.  And eight states do not consider assets when their residents apply for this help, which is administered through state Medicaid offices. Those eight states are:  Arizona, Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Mississippi, New York, Vermont.

This information was provided by the Center For Medicare Advocacy:

The Medicare Savings Program Income and Asset Guidelines for 2014

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs)

States must pay all Medicare cost-sharing for Medicare beneficiaries with incomes up to 100% FPL and resources below $7,160 ($10,750 if married) in 2014.  A beneficiary must have income below $972.50/month ($11,670/year) for an individual; $1,310.83/month ($15,730/year) for a couple to qualify for the benefit in 2014.    Add $20 to the monthly amount (but just for one person).

2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMBs)

States must pay the Medicare Part B premium for Medicare beneficiaries with incomes between 100% FPL and 120% FPL and resources below $7,160 ($10,750 if married). The income limit for this group is $1,167 /month ($14,004/year) for an individual; $1,573/month ($18,876/year) for a couple in 2014.    Add $20 to the monthly amount (but just for one person).

3. Qualified Individual (QI)

States have a limited amount of money from which they must pay, on a first come, first served basis, the Medicare Part B premium for Medicare beneficiaries with incomes between 120% FPL and 135%FPL and resources below $7,160 ($10,750 if married).  The income limit for this group is $1,312.88/month ($15,754.50/year) for an individual; $1,769.63/month ($21,235.50/year) for a couple in 2014.     Add $20 to the monthly amount (but just for one person).

I wrote about the QI program recently because it is at risk of not being funded this year due to wrangling over payments to doctors – and somebody forgetting to put this program into the bill that will “fix” doctor payment reductions.

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