Many people today find paying for health care to be difficult. However, many Medicare recipients are unaware that they are eligible for financial assistance from the Department of Social Services. Additionally, while the income limitations for unearned incomes (such as Social Security Disability Insurance) are listed on many web sites, the limits for people with income from jobs. Taking some time to see what you are entitled to can save a great deal of money.
If you are qualified to participate in the savings programs, you will also automatically be able to get the Extra Help prescription drug plan. Some people may also be eligible for programs to help with Medicare Part A. This extra policy covers hospital insurance.
When filling out the applications, it is important to understand which resources are counted as part of your income. Your countable resources include all money in savings and checking accounts, stocks and bonds. Your home, furniture, personal and household items are not counted. You may also have one vehicle, a prepaid burial plot and up to $1,500 saved for burial expenses without being counted as resources.
There are three types of Medicare savings program available based on income and assets. These programs can help to cover your Medicare Part B premiums. These expenses can include medical deductibles, coinsurance and copayments.
Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) is a plan for people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. This policy covers standard Medicare Part B premiums, Medicare Part A premiums if Social Security is not covering them, as well as deductibles and coinsurance not covered by Part A and B for doctors who participate in Medicare or your Medicare private health plan’s network.
Qualifying Individual (QI) is a program to cover Medicare Plan B premiums. These benefits are not available to people eligible for Medicaid. Applications for this plan must be filed annually. It is approved for people based on the date that the applications were filed, but priority is given to recipients from the previous year.
Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) is a program that pays for Medicare Part A premiums. There are several ways to become eligible for this policy. You may be eligible if you are a working disabled person under the age of 65 if your income exceeds the limit required to keep Social Security and Medicare Part A benefits. You may also be able to receive QDWI if you are within the income and resource limits for your state and are not receiving Medicaid.
The Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program covers Medicare Part B premiums that would have otherwise been taken out of their Social Security checks.
If you already are covered by Medicare, all you need to do is to contact the county office of the Department of Social Services to apply for the Savings programs.
If you are not covered by Medicare yet, contact your Social Security office and give them written notice that you wish to apply for conditional Medicare under one of these three conditional programs. After you learn if you have been approved, you can then go to the local Department of Social Services to apply for the Medicare Savings program.
There is no cost to apply for these Medicare savings program options, so don’t hesitate to contact the Department of Social Services right away to see if you are able to be covered.