Let's take a look at a couple things this time--a reminder and perhaps something new to you. First, the reminder, and it's all about saving money if you have a Medicare premiums and/or co-pays.
The Medicare Part B premium (think clinics, outpatient services, etc) is currently $134/month for most people, and for some, this gets to be a pretty big hit. People whose only source of income is Social Security may already be struggling to get everything else paid and the premium cost just adds to the burden.
Enter Medicare Savings Programs (MSP). Let's start out by stating that even though this is a Medicaid program, it doesn't carry any estate recovery issues with it. At the risk of sounding too confusing, it's a Medicaid program that helps cover the costs of Medicare. (I know, the names tend to blur.)
MSP's can cover part or all of your premium, co-pays and deductibles if you qualify. There are various subset programs such as QMB, SLMB, QI, and QDWI, and if you collect such acronyms, we can let you know what they mean. For this time out, though, just know they are all MSP's.
How do you know if you qualify? Glad you asked since not knowing doesn't help much.
The following limits apply:
- If single: Income less than $1357/month and assets less than $7,390
- If a couple: Income less than $1827/month and assets less than $11,090
And now for the something maybe new to you-- if you are eligible for certain of the MSP's, you may also qualify for what's called the Low Income Subsidy/Extra Help which assists with Medicare Part D (prescriptions) costs.
The requirements for the Extra Help are:
- Single: Income less than $1508/month and assets less than $13,820
- Couple: Income less than $2030/month and assets less than $27,600
Lots of names, initials and the always confusing difference between Medicaid and Medicare. No worries, right? If all of this makes total sense to you--yay! If not, give us a call and just ask to talk to someone about Medicare Savings Programs.
The people you will talk to will automatically consider the Extra Help piece while checking with you on the MSP part. And they do this a lot. Finding a way to save some money isn't always an easy thing to do, so if this sounds like a fit for you, jump in!
Information & Assistance
Long Beach: 642 3634/888 571 6558
Raymond: 942 2177/888 571 6557