Medicare, while more cost-effective than most policies, can still be a great financial sacrifice for those with lower income. Thankfully, there are ways to save on Medicare costs if you have limited income – namely through Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, and Extra Help.
Medicaid eligibility is based on your state’s standards for Modified Adjusted Gross Income, in which you must earn at or below that amount.
If your earnings are too high but you’re considered medically needy, you have the option to “spend down”. This lets you deduct medical expenses from your annual income so that you can meet the income requirement.
Medicaid works well with Medicare. Whenever you get treatments, Medicare will pay everything it can, and then Medicaid will take care of what it can for the remainder.
Dual eligibility allows you to join the Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plan (D-SNP). This combines benefits for a lower cost with the most comprehensive coverage, and it offers additional coverage for items Original Medicare doesn’t cover, such as dental, vision, and hearing.
Medicare Savings Programs
Medicare Savings Programs are different from Medicaid because they do not function as a standalone policy in the way Medicaid does.
Medicare Savings Programs consist of:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
- Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
- Qualifying Individual (QI)
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individual (QDWI)
The benefits are:
- SLMB and QI programs exclusively help with Part B premiums
- QMBs help with Part A and/or Part B premiums. Your provider can’t bill you for anything Medicare covers, either
- QDWIs help with Part A premiums
Monthly income limits for singles:
- QMB – $1,094
- SLMB – $1,308
- QI – $1,469
- QDWI – $4,379
Monthly income limits for married couples:
- QMB – $1,472
- SLMB – $1,762
- QI – $1,980
- QDWI – $5,892
Eligibility is not limited to income. The other factor is the amount you have in resources (funds in checking and savings accounts, stocks, and bonds).
Resource limits for QMB, SLMB, and QI programs:
- $7,970 for singles
- $11,960 for married couples
QDWI resource limits:
- $4,000 for singles
- $6,000 for married couples
If you’re on one of these programs, you’ll save enough to the point where your medical treatment costs will be the last thing on your mind.
If you qualify for Medicaid and/or QMB, SLMB, or QI savings programs, you are automatically eligible for Extra Help.
Extra Help saves you on Part D prescription costs – $3.70 for generic medications; $9.20 for brand names covered by your plan’s formulary. It also helps you pay your premiums, deductibles, and copayments.
All you need to do is submit proof that you qualify, such as a copy of your Medicaid card, or the Extra Help Notice of Award issued to you by Social Security.
After you’ve submitted the proof, contact Medicare for enrollment confirmation.
Get The Coverage You Need
At Peritia Advisors, we believe everyone should have affordable healthcare. Income should not play any role in you deciding to get medical treatment, nor should you have to fear debt when you take care of a problem that needs immediate attention. If you’re ready to learn more about how you can save on Medicare costs, reach out to us today at 319-200-5050.