Medicare helps, but it’s not free and it doesn’t cover everything. Health plans like Medigap and Medicare Advantage can help, but won’t cover all the costs included in your healthcare. Here are some additional resources for helping you pay your healthcare costs:
Medicare Savings Programs
There are 4 kinds of Medicare Savings Programs that may offer additional help paying for healthcare costs that Medicare, Medicare Supplements, and Medicare Advantage plans may not cover (programs may vary on a state-to-state basis):
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program:
If you’re eligible, the QMB Program helps pay for Part A and/or Part B premiums. In addition, Medicare providers aren’t allowed to bill you for services and items Medicare covers, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments (except outpatient prescription drugs). If you get a bill for these charges, tell your provider or debt collector that you’re in the QMB Program and can’t be charged for items and services Medicare covers, including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. If you’ve already made payments on a bill for services and items Medicare covers, you have the right to a refund. Read more here: www.benefits.gov/benefit/6177.
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program:
Helps pay Part B premiums only. Read more here: www.benefits.gov/benefit/6178.
- Qualifying Individual (QI) Program:
Helps pay Medicare Part B premiums only. Funding for QI benefits is limited, and the applications are granted on a first come, first-served basis. You can’t get QI benefits if you qualify for Medicaid. Read more here: www.benefits.gov/benefit/6176.
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program:
Helps pay Medicare Part A premiums only. You may qualify for this program if you have a disability and are working. Read more here: www.benefits.gov/benefit/6180.
If you qualify for a QMB, SLMB, or QI Program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare Part D Prescription Drug coverage.
Usually, to qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, you must have income and resources below a certain limit.