Programs for Limited-Income Seniors.
Medicare Savings Programs
There are four types of programs designed to help people with modest incomes and savings, each with different financial limits and covering different costs. They are:
Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
The QMB Program helps pay your Part A and/or Part B premiums. It also prohibits healthcare providers from billing you directly for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You won’t be charged over a certain amount for Part D-covered prescription drugs, and you’ll automatically get Extra Help.
Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
This program only helps cover the Part B premium.
Qualifying Individual (QI) Program
This also only helps cover Part B premiums, and you must apply each year for benefits. QI benefits are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
The QDWI Program helps pay Part A premiums, and you may qualify if you have a disability and are currently working.
To see if you qualify for a Medicare Savings Program, check with your state to find out income and resource limits. You can find your state’s contact information here.
Medicaid is a joint federal and state health insurance program for low-income people or for those with high medical expenses relative to their income and savings (termed "medically needy"). This assistance program covers children, the aged, blind, and/or disabled and other people who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.
Each state has different Medicaid requirements. Call your state’s Medicaid office, or 1-800-MEDICARE to see if you qualify.
Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)
A Medicare and Medicaid program, PACE is available in many states for people who need nursing home-level care. PACE’s assistance allows them to remain in their community by covering home care, transportation to doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and more. Contact your Medicaid office to see if there is a PACE program near you.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
SSI is available to people with limited income who are also disabled, blind, or 65 and older. The Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool at benefits.gov/ssa can help you determine if you are eligible for SSI benefits. You can also call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.