Taking a Look at Saving Money
Two thousand and thirteen is already a month and a half old. A lot of folks start to think about tax time for 2012, and all the other year-end things that begin or end at this time of year.
Maybe part of what you’re looking at is how much money you were able to save last year — or determining that this year you might actually be able to re-start a savings account!
Saving money is generally a good thing; so let’s take a quick look at how you might save some money on your Medicare. Yeah, I get it — Medicare is free, right? Not absolutely. Medicare Part B; that pays toward outpatient, clinics, doctor visits, etc, has a premium (currently) of $104.90/month.
For a number of folks, this is a deduction of Social Security income, and it has a real impact on an already strained budget. And it’s never a good situation when you need to decide whether you’re going to pay for utilities or meds, food or co-pays.
Back to saving money…Through various programs encompassed by what’s known as Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), you may be eligible for help with your Medicare premiums. Income levels — and this is a moving target each year — range from about $1281 to about $1,723/month for couples. For a single individual income, the range is about $951/month to $1,277/month.
Assets need to be less than $10, 410 for couples and $6, 940 for singles. Think about this way: If your Part B premium is paid for, that’s another $104 on your Social Security income. An added bonus is that if you’re eligible for these programs, you are more than likely also eligible for low-income subsidy assistance on your Medicare Part D (prescription) premium.
These programs, QMB, SLMB and QI-1 have varying eligibility levels within the above listed incomes, and are available for application online at http://www.dshs.wa.gov/onlinecso/Medical.shtml or at the local CSO (think DSHS) office. If online, hit Medicare Savings Programs and follow the associated links.
If you just want some printed information about the various programs, give us a call or drop by our offices and we can get that to you.
Saving money seldom hurts — and can be very helpful! It’s another year, so let’s see what can happen.
Information & Assistance: Long Beach, 642-3634, 888-571-6558; Raymond: 942-2177, 888-571-6557; O3A website: www.o3a.org