Did you know that there are several low-income programs that can help qualified individuals pay for their Medicare Part B premiums or prescription drug costs?

Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) provide help to qualified Medicare beneficiaries to pay for Medicare Part A and B premiums, deductibles and co-insurance. There are three programs that are based on income and resource guidelines.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
Covers payments for Medicare Part B premiums (and payments for Part A premiums when applicable), and Parts A and B deductibles and co-insurance. To qualify, a single individual must have a monthly income under $993 and no more than $8,580 in resources/assets (not including the home you live in). Married couples must have a monthly income of less than $1,331 and $12,120 in resources.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
Covers payments for Medicare Part B premiums. To qualify, a single individual must have a monthly income under $1,188 and no more than $8,580 in resources/assets (not including the home you live in). Married couples must have a monthly income of less than $1,593 and $12,120 in resources.

Qualifying Individual-1 (QI-1)
Covers payments for Medicare Part B premiums, as long as state funds are available. To qualify, a single individual must have a monthly income under $1,334 and no more than $8,580 in resources/assets (not including the home you live in). Married couples must have a monthly income of less than $1,790 and $12,120 in resources.

The Extra Help Program, available through the Social Security Administration, is a program that can help lower the costs of your Medicare drug plan by reducing your plan premiums, deductibles and drug co-pays.

To qualify, a single individual must have a monthly income under $1,460 and no more than $13,440 in resources/assets (not including the home you live in). Married couples must have a monthly income of less than $1,967 and $26,860 in resources. The income limits include the amount of your Medicare Part B premium. However, there are other income exclusions that may be applied to your income.

For additional information about any of these programs, or to apply, contact SHIP at 1-877-801-0044.