Who gets help with Medicare premium and drug costs?

Low-income Medicare beneficiaries get help with their Medicare Part B premium and their prescription drug costs.  Income levels that qualify for help have been raised for 2013.

Anyone on Medicare with monthly income below $1,313 (individual) or $1,765 (married couple) can get help through the Medicare Savings Program, which is funded by the federal government, but administered through state Medicaid offices.

Some states have higher income limits for getting help. Income limits in Connecticut, for example, are about $1,000 higher than the amounts provided here.

FOR A VIDEO PRESENTATION OF THIS TOPIC, CLICK HEREhttp://medicarechoicesofarizona.com/

Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for this help will get their Medicare Part B premium paid by the state. That means they will have $104.90 more in their Social Security check each month.  Then the state will send info to Social Security and get them signed up for help with their Part D and drug costs. This is called the Low Income Subsidy (LIS).

LIS and PRESCRIPTION HELP:

A person who qualifies for LIS pays $2.65 for generic drugs and $6.60 for brand drugs.  This is a really good deal, since most Part D plans have a $40 co-pay for brand drugs. Some Part D drug plans require an $8, or even $15 co-pay for generics. So the LIS program can save people a lot of money on their prescriptions.

IF YOU ARE IN ARIZONA AND  THINK YOU QUALIFY, I CAN HELP YOU APPLY FOR THESE PROGRAMS.

POVERTY LEVEL:

Medicare beneficiaries with monthly income below $978 (individual) and $1,313 (couple) get more help. In addition to having their Part B premium paid by the state, they get help with their medical bills. The deductibles and/or co-pays that are part of Medicare and Medicare Advantage are paid by the state, so these folks should not have any out-of-pocket costs when they get medical care. These folks are called Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB).

NOTE: I’ve included the $20 disregard for the income limit figures provided here. The actual limits are $20 less, but Medicare will “disregard” $20″ per month  – but only one $20 disregard is allowed for a couple.

ASSET LIMITS

Applications for the Medicare Savings Program include questions about assets, and the allowable limits are pretty low: $13,300 for an individual and $26,580 for a couple. Assets are things like money in the bank, IRAs, second homes, life insurance policies, and even burial policies.

SEVEN STATES DO NOT CONSIDER ASSETS when processing an application for the Medicare Savings Program.  They are:

Alabama

Connecticut

Delware

Maine

Mississippi

New York

Vermont

To find out about help in your area, you can google the name of your state with “medicare savings program”. Or search for “Area Office on Aging”, or “SHIP”.  You will find a local organization that helps people apply for this help. A experienced, knowledgeable insurance agent should also be able to help you.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON MEDICARE IN ARIZONA GO TO:  MEDICARECHOICESOFARIZONA.COM

 

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