MEDICARE SAVINGS FOR YOU
If you are elderly, or disabled and have a low income and are eligible for Medicare, your State may pay some or all of your Medicare expenses.
Federal law requires that State Medicaid programs pay Medicare costs for certain elderly and disabled persons with low incomes and very limited assets. What this means is that, depending on your income and the value of things you own, you will not have to pay as much money out of your own pocket for hospital, physician, and other services covered by Medicare. You could save hundreds if not thousands of dollars each year.
TWO PROGRAMS OFFER HELP
There are two programs to help people pay their Medicare expenses.
One is called the “Qualified Medicare Beneficiary” or “QMB” program.
The other is called the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary” or “SLMB” program.
The QMB program is for persons with limited resources whose incomes are at or below the national poverty level. It covers the cost of the Medicare premiums, coinsurance and deductibles that Medicare beneficiaries normally pay out of their own pockets. If you qualify for assistance under the QMB program, you will not have to pay:
- Medicare’s hospital deductible.
- The daily coinsurance charges for extended hospital and skilled nursing facility stays.
- The Medicare Medical Insurance (Part B) premium.
- The annual Part B deductible.
The 20-percent coinsurance for services covered by Medicare Part B, depending on which doctor you go to.
The State covers these Medicare cost sharing amounts for you. You are only responsible for paying for the various medical supplies and services not covered by Medicare, such as routine physicals, dental care, hearing aids, and eyeglasses. And, if required by your State, you would also be liable for nominal cost sharing amounts each time you go to the doctor or use other benefits that require copayments.
While the QMB program helps those whose income is at or below the national poverty level, the SLMB program is for persons whose incomes are slightly higher than the poverty level, but not more than 20 percent higher. If you qualify for assistance under the SLMB program, you will not have to pay the monthly Part B premium.
The State will pay the premium for you. You will, however, continue to be responsible for Medicare’s deductibles, coinsurance, and for charges for health care services and medical supplies not covered by Medicare.