Medicare premium help not yet renewed for 2013

Here we go again. I got an email today from Chris who wrote:

I just received a letter from Arizona AHCCCS stating that the Medicare Savings Program has not been funded by the U.S. Congress and beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Part B premiums will no longer be paid under the QMB Medicare Savings Program.

This letter also states:  “While you will be responsible for your Part B premiums beginning January 2013, the premiums will not be deducted from your Social Security Payments for a few months…”.

The same letter went out to 12,500 people in Arizona last year around this time, but our esteemed-and-well-paid-representatives in Washington came to a year-end agreement to pass a bill that included funding for multiple programs. Funding for the Medicare Part B premium assistance was included in that bill and nobody lost their help.

Last year’s letter (December 2011) went like this:

You receive help paying your Medicare Part B premium through the Qualified Individual-1 (QI-1) program. Although AHCCCS determines eligibility for this program, it is funded 100% by the Federal government.

Your QI-1 benefits will end December 31, 2011 because Congress has not authorized any additional funding for the program.

You will be responsible for paying your Medicare Part B premiums beginning January 1, 2012

Just after that “happy holidays!” letter went out to people living on less than $1,246 per month,  Congress passed a bill on December 23rd, 2011 to fund various programs, including the Medicare Saving Program. I wrote about this last year.

Now here we are on December 27th, 2012 and nothing has been passed to extend funding for 2013. Yikes! Hopefully our  esteemed-and-well-paid-representatives in Washington will get back from yet-another-vacation and pass a damn bill!

In the meantime, I would say, “Don’t panic, things will get worked out”.  I hope that is accurate advice.

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4 Responses to "Medicare premium help not yet renewed for 2013"

  1. Guest says:

    Has anybody seen any news on the funding for the QI-1 program?

  2. Denise Early says:

    The 12/14/12 letter sent to people affected by the QI-1 funding delay is on the AHCCCS website. http://www.azahcccs.gov/shared/downloads/QI-1_Letter_12-14-2012.pdf

  3. Cathy says:

    Extension was included in the “fiscal cliff” deal the Senate passed last night. Let’s hope the House passes it today.

    [ Section 621 (page 105): http://www.scribd.com/doc/118551686/Mat-12564 ]

  4. Cathy says:

    Now it’s renewed!

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