The Medicare Savings Program covers
- out-of-pocket expenses for premiums,
- and subsidizes your prescriptions drug costs if you are an eligible Medicare beneficiary.
Do you meet the criteria?
How to qualify for the Medicare Savings Program
The Medicare Savings Program has three levels. Your income must be at or below the amounts listed below in each category. There is no asset limit for this program in Connecticut. At all three levels, at least your Medicare Part B premium is covered, $104.90/month in 2014.
QMB – Qualified Medicare Beneficiary
SMB – Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary
ALMB – Additional Low-income Medicare Beneficiary*
*Subject to available funding
Additional benefits with QMB
QMB, the lowest income level of the program, provides additional benefits. Besides covering your monthly Medicare Part B premium, QMB pays for all of your deductibles and co-pays. The State of Connecticut Medicare Savings Program brochure describes QMB as similar to a Medigap or Medicare Supplement policy.
If you are on QMB and are also paying for a Medicare Supplement policy, you may not need it. The Center for Medicare Advocacy states: “Individuals who qualify for the QMB program generally do not need, and should not pay for, Medicare Supplement Insurance.”
Already on the Medicare Savings Program? Get help with drug costs
If you are a Medicare Savings Program beneficiary and you participate in Medicare Part D, you automatically qualify for a Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) from Medicare to get help paying your prescription drug costs including premiums, deductibles and co-pays. LIS, also called Extra Help, is estimated to be worth $4,000/year according to Social Security. If you qualify for LIS, you pay only $2.55 for generic drugs, and $6.35 for brand-named drugs as of 2014.
There’s only one problem with the Medicare Savings Program: not enough people know about it!
Help us spread the word to anyone you think may qualify. Your friends will thank you. Who wouldn’t want to have their Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays covered?
After all, every penny counts when you’re on a fixed income – and $4,000 is a lot of pennies! Here’s a link to the Medicare Savings Program application.