Finding Extra Help Paying Medicare Part B Premiums - Cabot Wealth Network

Finding Extra Help Paying Medicare Part B Premiums

You can receive extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums for medical insurance if you qualify under certain conditions.

Do you need extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums? If you qualify through certain conditions, the Medicare Savings Program may pay for deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments of both Medicare Part A and Part B services. The Medicare Savings Program payments can help pay for hospital insurance or medical insurance, depending on how one qualifies.

Savings programs set qualification limits on monthly income and personal resources. The qualifying factors may range slightly from one state to another but are generally similar across the country.

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There are four different parts of the Medicare Savings Program. They include the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program, the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program, the Qualifying Individual (QI) Program, and the Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program. Some of these only offer extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums and don’t include help paying for Part A.

Each of these programs’ qualifying factors depends on your living situation, but all of them take income and resources into account for qualification. Resources considered for the resource limit include things like money in savings accounts, stocks, and bonds.

Qualifying for extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums

Here are the essential qualifying factors for each part of the Medicare Savings Program:

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

The individual monthly income limit for QMB is $1,094 and is $1,472 for a married couple. The resource limit for the QMB program is $7,970 for an individual and $11,960 for a married couple.

Should you qualify for this program, it will help pay for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. The program can assist with premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)

For an individual to qualify for the SLMB program, the income limit is $1,308, and the limit for a married couple is $1,762. This program’s resource limit is $7,970 for an individual and $11,960 for a married couple. This program only offers extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums.

Qualifying Individual (QI)

The income limit is $1,469 for an individual and $1,980 for a married couple to qualify under the QI program. The resource limit for qualification is $7,970 for an individual and $11,960 for a married couple.

Like the SLMB, the QI program only offers extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums. To maintain coverage under the QI program, you must apply and qualify every year. Preference is given to those who qualified for the program in the previous year, but approval still operates on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI)

The QDWI program will only help you pay for Medicare Part A premiums, and it has a few individual qualifying factors. The individual monthly income limit is $4,379, and the limit for a married couple is $5,892. The individual resource limit is $4,000 for an individual and $6,000 for a married couple. 

If you need assistance in finding out if you or a loved one can qualify for any of these Medicare Savings Programs, you should contact your state. In some cases, even if your income or resources are slightly higher than the amounts quoted, you may qualify for extra help paying Medicare Part B premiums, so you should still apply.

These numbers are subject to change and should be checked yearly to see if any changes could impact you or your coverage.

How have you gone about looking for extra help with your Medicare payments?

Nancy Zambell

Learn from Expert Analyst Nancy Zambell

Nancy Zambell has spent 30 years educating and helping individual investors navigate the minefields of the financial industry. As a lecturer and educator, Nancy has led seminars for individual investors at the National Association of Investors, Investment Expo and the Money Show. She has also taught finance, economics and banking at the college level, and has been quoted extensively in The Wall Street Journal, Investor’s Business Daily, USA Today, and BusinessWeek. Now let her give you the tools and resources, including a monthly magazine, for gaining the peace-of-mind to live comfortably now and in retirement in her Cabot Money Club.

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*This post has been updated from a version published in 2021.

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