If you have limited income and resources, a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) could help you save money on Medicare costs like premiums, deductibles and coinsurance.1

Let’s explore the types of MSPs and how to apply.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program2

The QMB Program helps pay for Part A premiums, Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. QMB income and resource limits for 2021 include:

  • Individual monthly income limit – $1,094*
  • Married couple monthly income limit – $1,472*
  • Individual resource limit – $7,970
  • Married couple resource limit – $11,960

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program3

The SLMB program helps pay Part B premiums for people who have Part A. SLMB income and resource limits for 2021 include:

  • Individual monthly income limit – $1,308*
  • Married couple monthly income limit – $1,762*
  • Individual resource limit – $7,970
  • Married couple resource limit – $11,960

Qualifying Individual (QI) Program4

The QI Program helps pay Part B premiums for people who have Part A. QI applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, and you must apply each year. You can’t get QI benefits if you qualify for Medicaid.

QI income and resources limits for 2021 include:

  • Individual monthly income limit – $1,469*
  • Married couple monthly income limit – $1,980*
  • Individual resource limit – $7,970
  • Married couple resource limit – $11,960

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program5

The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium.

To qualify, 1 of these must apply:

  • You’re a working disabled person under 65
  • You lost your premium-free Part A when you went back to work
  • You aren’t getting medical assistance from your state
  • You meet the income and resource limits required by your state

Income and resources limits for 2021 include:

  • Individual monthly income limit – $4,379*
  • Married couple monthly income limit – $5,892*
  • Individual resource limit – $4,000
  • Married couple resource limit – $6,000

Important notes for MSPs6

  • *Limits are slightly higher in Alaska and Hawaii. If you have income from working, you may qualify for benefits even if your income is higher than the limits.
  • If you qualify for the QMB program, SLMB or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare drug coverage.

How to apply for a MSP7

If you answer “yes” to the following questions, call your State Medicare Program to check if you qualify.

  1. Do you have (or are you eligible for) Part A?
  2. Is your income at (or below) the limits listed for any of the programs?
  3. Are your resources at (or below) the limits listed for any of the programs?

Note: If your income or resources are higher than the amounts listed, you may still apply to check if you qualify.

Learn more about Medicare

For more helpful information on Medicare, check out these 10 frequently asked questions about Medicare plans.

Sources

  1. “Social Security Medicare Savings Program,” Benefits.gov, last accessed March 15, 2021, https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/4396, opens new window.
  2. “Medicare Savings Programs,” Medicare.gov, last accessed March 15, 2021, https://www.medicare.gov/your-medicare-costs/get-help-paying-costs/medicare-savings-programs, opens new window.
  3. “Medicare Savings Programs.”
  4. “Medicare Savings Programs.”
  5. “Medicare Savings Programs.”
  6. “Medicare Savings Programs.”
  7. “Social Security Medicare Savings Program.”

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