Medicare is a necessary option for many people over the age of 65 who are looking for a way to pay for their hospital bills, doctor visits, and other medical necessities. Medicare has existed since 1966 and is an essential national insurance program that many individuals use. Unfortunately, some people are not able to pay for all their medical costs even when they have Medicare, as the program still requires them to pay premiums for their treatments.
When this occurs, Medicare savings programs can help. These are federally funded programs that each state administers based on its own criteria. You can learn more about this Medicare supplement in order to ensure that you are able to pay your premiums easily and affordably.
What Are Medicare Savings Programs?
Medicare savings programs are put in place to help those who qualify for Medicare but still have trouble paying healthcare costs. These programs help pay for items like their deductibles, premiums, and copayments. There are generally four types of Medicare savings programs:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
- Qualifying Individual (QI)
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI)
How Do I Know If I Qualify for Medicare Supplements?
Some people may or may not qualify for certain Medicare savings programs or Medicare supplements. Each of these programs offers varying amounts of financial help and options. To qualify, several requirements must typically be met, including:
- Being age 65 or older
- Having a main residence in a U.S. state or in the District of Columbia
- Already receiving social security disability benefits or living with certain disabilities
- Meeting Medicare’s income requirements
- Meeting Medicare’s resource requirements
In some cases, certain requirements may be waived under specific circumstances. For example, someone with permanent kidney failure may be able to qualify for a Medicare savings program even if they are under the age of 65. Still, in most cases these are the general requirements associated with the program.
How Do I Apply for Medicare Savings Programs?
Before applying, you will need to determine if you qualify for any of these Medicare programs. You can do so by looking up the monthly income limits, resource limits, and other requirements at Medicare.gov. After you have found the program (or programs) for which you best qualify, you may apply at the Medicare benefits application page online. Some individuals also prefer to call their state Medicare program in order to determine if they meet the qualifications.