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Medicare Savings Programs

You can get help from your state paying your Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions listed under "How to Apply."

4 kinds of Medicare Savings Programs

If you have income from working, you may qualify for these 4 programs even if your income is higher than the income limits listed below.

If you qualify for a QMB, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

  1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
  2. Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program  
  3. Qualifying Individual (QI) Program  
    You must apply every year for QI benefits. QI applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to people who got QI benefits the previous year. (You can't get QI benefits if you qualify for Medicaid).
  4. Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program  
    The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium. You may qualify if any of these apply to you:
    • You're a working disabled person under 65
    • You lost your premium-free Part A when you went back to work
    • You aren't getting medical assistance from your state
    • You meet the income and resource limits required by your state

How to apply for Medicare Savings Programs

If you answer yes to these 3 questions, call your State Medicaid Program to see if you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program in your state:

  1. Do you have, or are you eligible for, Part A?
  2. Is your income for 2014 at, or below, the income limits below?
  3. Do you have limited resources, below the limits below?

It's important to call or fill out an application if you think you could qualify for savings—even if your income or resources are higher than the amounts listed here.

Note

These amounts may increase in 2015. If your income and resources are slightly higher, you should still apply.

Medicare Savings Program 2014 Income Limits

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program

Individual monthly income limit*
$993

Married couple monthly income limit*
$1,331

Program helps pay for:
Part A premiums
Part B premiums
Deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program

Individual monthly income limit*
$1,187

Married couple monthly income limit*
$1,593

Program helps pay for:
Part B premiums only

Qualifying Individual (QI) Program

Individual monthly income limit*
$1,333

Married couple monthly income limit*
$1,790

Program helps pay for:
Part B premiums only

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program

Individual monthly income limit*
$3,975

Married couple monthly income limit*
$5,329

Program helps pay for:
Part A premiums only

Note

*Limits are slightly higher in Alaska and Hawaii. If you have income from working, you may qualify for benefits even if your income is higher than the limits listed.

Medicare Savings Program Resource Limits

Resource limits for the QMB, SLMB, and QI Medicare Savings Programs are $7,160 for one person and $10,750 for a married couple. Resource limits for the QDWI program are $4,000 for one person and $6,000 for a married couple.

Countable resources include:

  • Money in a checking or savings account
  • Stocks
  • Bonds

Countable resources don't include:

  • Your home
  • One car
  • Burial plot
  • Up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you have put that money aside
  • Furniture
  • Other household and personal items

How can I keep my costs down?