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. These conditions are listed below under "How do I apply for Medicare Savings Programs?"

4 kinds of Medicare Savings Programs

Select a program name below for details about each Medicare Savings Program. If you have income from working, you still may qualify for these 4 programs even if your income is higher than the income limits listed for each program.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program

QMB income & resource limits in 2021:

Individual monthly income limit*

$1,094

Married couple monthly income limit*

$1,472

*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.

Individual resource limit

$7,970

Married couple resource limit

$11,960

Program helps pay for:

Part A premiums, Part B premiums, and deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments for services and items Medicare covers

Other things to know about the QMB Program:

Medicare providers aren’t allowed to bill you for services and items Medicare covers, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, except outpatient drugs. Pharmacists may charge you up to a limited amount (no more than $4.00 in 2021) for prescription drugs covered by Medicare Part D.

  • If you get a bill for Medicare charges: Tell your provider or the debt collector that you’re in the QMB Program and can’t be charged for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
  • If you already made payments on a bill for services and items Medicare covers: You have the right to a refund.
  • If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan: Contact the plan to ask them to stop the charges.

In some cases, you may be billed a small copayment through Medicaid, if one applies. 

Make sure your provider knows you're in the QMB program
Show both your Medicare card and Medicaid card (or QMB card) each time you get care. If you have Original Medicare, you can also show a copy of your " Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) " — It shows you're in the QMB program.

If your provider won't stop billing you, call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY: 1-877-486-2048. 
Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program

The SLMB Program is a state program that helps pay Part B premiums for people who have Part A and limited income and resources.

SLMB income & resource limits in 2021:

Individual monthly income limit*

$1,308

Married couple monthly income limit*

$1,762

*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.

Individual resource limit

$7,970

Married couple resource limit

$11,960

Program helps pay for:

Part B premiums only

Qualifying Individual (QI) Program

The QI Program is a state program that helps pay Part B premiums for people who have Part A and limited income and resources. You must apply every year for QI 

benefits [glossary]

. 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).

QI income & resource limits in 2021:

Individual monthly income limit*

$1,469

Married couple monthly income limit*

$1,980

*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.

Individual resource limit

$7,970

Married couple resource limit

$11,960

Program helps pay for:

Part B premiums only

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program

The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium. You may qualify if all of these apply to you:

  • You have a disability.
  • You're working.
  • You lost your Social Security disability benefits and premium-free Part A because you returned to work.

QDWI income & resource limits in 2021:

Individual monthly income limit*

$4,379

Married couple monthly income limit*

$5,892

*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.

Individual resource limit

$4,000

Married couple resource limit

$6,000

Program helps pay for:

Part A premiums only

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

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

What items are included in the Medicare Savings Program resource limits?

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 do I 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 2021 at, or below, the income limits listed for any of the programs above?
  3. Do you have limited resources, below the limits above?

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.

Find out who to call about Medicare options, claims and more.