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How to Get Help Paying for Medicare

Premiums, deductibles, co-payments, coinsurance…costs for Medicare can add up pretty quickly. Fortunately, there are several programs available to help defray the costs of premiums, and in some cases, deductibles and other expenses. These programs are called Medicare Savings Programs and are available to those who qualify based on income and asset requirements. There are four programs available: the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program, Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program, the Qualifying Individual Program (QI) and the Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program

The QMB helps pay for Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, as well as deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments. In order to qualify for the QMB in 2014, an individual must not have a monthly income greater than $993, and for married couples, not greater than $1,331.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program

This program covers Medicare Part B premiums only. For individuals in 2014, the monthly income limit is $1,187. For married couples, it is $1,593.

Qualifying Individual Program

The QI program also covers part B premiums, but it’s monthly income limits are slightly higher than the SLMB program. In 2014, the limit is $1,333 for individuals and $1,790 for married couples.

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program

This program covers Part A premiums. The monthly income limit in 2014 for individuals is $3,975, and $5,329 for married couples.

Resource/Asset Limits

In order to qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you must (in addition to qualifying for Medicare Part A), have less than a certain amount of resources or assets. This includes things such as money in bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. It does not include your car, house or physical possessions. “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,” according to

Help Paying For Prescription Drugs

You may also qualify for help paying for prescription drugs under Medicare depending on your income and resources. According to, “In 2014, you may qualify if you have up to $17,505 in yearly income ($23,595 for a married couple) and up to $13,440 in resources ($26,860 for a married couple).” The definition of resources is the same as above. Even if you don’t qualify for help, there are state programs to that help you pay for prescription drugs, which can be found via your State Medical Assistance office or State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

Medicare Savings Plan

About Global Premier Benefits

Global Premier Benefits offers education for seniors on healthcare options available to them that could improve their quality of life and defray their healthcare costs as well. We have agents and clients in more than 16 states, including the District of Columbia. Our goal is to enable seniors to live healthy, rewarding lives without compromising their finances. Please follow us on our blog for weekly information on seniors and health care. You can also keep up with Global Premier Benefits on Facebook, TwitterGoogle+YouTube, and Pinterest.


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