Your Medicare premium(s) means different things depending on the plans you are enrolled in. For Original Medicare (Parts A and B), it means the Part B premium, and, very rarely, the Part A premium if you are paying for Part A. Most people get premium-free Part A.
If you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), it means your monthly premium for that plan (if there is one), and your Medicare Part B premium.
If you are enrolled in a Part D prescription drug plan, it means your premium for that plan. Of course, since Part D is typically an add-on to Original Medicare, you’ll still be expected to pay the premiums for Original Medicare.
Do I Qualify for Medicaid?
If you cannot afford your Medicare premiums, your first step should be to see if you qualify for Medicaid in your state. Medicaid is a combined state and federal program that, for Medicare beneficiaries who are eligible, pays Medicare premiums, deductibles, and copayments. The income and resource requirements vary from state to state. Most states allow people to apply online for Medicaid.
Do I Qualify for Extra Help for Medicare Part D?
Social Security has a program called Extra Help for Medicare that helps pay for Part D drug plan costs. To be eligible for this program, you must be enrolled in Part A or B and Part D, live in one of the fifty states and have combined real estate, cash, and investments that are less than $29,520 for a married couple and less than $14,790 if you are single or not living with your spouse. (Your home, car, personal possessions, and income from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income do not count towards these limits.)
Medicare Savings Programs
There are also Medicare Savings Programs you can look into. These programs do have income and resource limits you need to meet to be eligible, but if you do qualify, they can be very beneficial. The programs include:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program: Provides coverage for Part A and B premiums, deductibles, copayment, and coinsurance
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program: Only covers Part B premiums
- Qualifying Individual (QI) Program: Only covers Part B premiums
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program: Only covers Part A premiums
You’ll also be eligible for the Part D Extra Help program if you qualify for the QI, SLMB, or QMB Program.
At The Coleman Agency, we’re here to make sure you’re fully aware of all your Medicare plan options and what you can do to stay within your budget. For more information about the costs of Medicare, call us today at (803) 802-7507!