Need Help with Medicare Costs?
There may be help for you! Our knowledgeable staff can work with you to see if you may be eligible to reduce your Medicare costs and are also able to assist you as you apply for these benefits.
Any of these programs can give you savings, take away any of the Medicare penalties, allow you to review and/or change your drug plan at any time of the year, and are not subject to estate recovery.
Contact us for more information or for assistance to apply!
Extra Help from Social Security
Extra Help can help with the costs of medication and prescription drug insurance. It is a tiered program that pays all or part of Medicare Drug Plan premiums, deductibles, and copays. Some people who qualify for the most assistance pay may have no drug plan premium and no annual deductible. Copays for covered prescriptions may be as low as $4.50 for generics and $11.20 for name-brand medications.
Extra Help is a program from Social Security for Medicare beneficiaries who meet income and resource guidelines. It is a tiered program, with the number of benefits based upon both resources and income. Gross income is counted. (Gross income means the amount you receive prior to taxes or other deductions.)
Income includes: Social Security, pensions, interest from investments, employment, alimony, veterans benefits, rental income, etc.
Income doesn't include: stipends from Title V programs such as Senior Companions or Foster Grandparents
Resources include: checking and savings accounts, CDs, IRAs, investments, additional property or rental properties, etc
Resources don't include: your home (provided you are living in it), the property on which your home is located, one vehicle, life insurance cash value, and prepaid burial accounts.
Income and resource limits are tied to the Federal Poverty level and are adjusted annually.
2023 Income and Resource Limits are:
Single: $1,882.50/month $17,220
Couple: $2,575/month $34,360
Medicare Savings Programs - SLMB and QMB
Medicare also has two additional programs that can help with the Medicare Part B premium and the other costs that occur when you use Medicare to visit your doctor or have other medical care. If you qualify for these programs, you are automatically eligible for Extra Help's assistance with drug costs.
The Medicare Savings Programs, like Extra Help, have income and resource guidelines. They are national programs but are administered differently in each state. In Iowa, the programs are run through the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and are considered "limited Medicaid" programs. Neither SLMB or QMB are currently subject to estate recovery, which makes them different from other Medicaid programs. Contact us to apply for these programs.
Income and resources are counted similarly to Extra Help. However, HHS does count the value of life insurance and any prepaid burial contacts that are not irrevocable.
SLMB - A Medicare Savings Program
Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for SLMB will get help paying their Medicare Part B premiums. This limited Medicaid program has Iowa's Department of Health and Human Services paying this premium to Social Security. In addition to having this premium paid, those who qualify for SLMB also qualify for the lower costs for Medicare Part D drug plan premiums, deductibles, and drug copays. 2023 income and resource limits are listed below.
Single: $1,715/month $9,430
Couple: $2,320/month $14,130
QMB - A Medicare Savings Program
Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for QMB will get help paying their Medicare Part B premiums, their Medicare deductibles and copays. This limited Medicaid program has Iowa's Department of Health and Human Services paying this premium to Social Security and when Medicare pays first, QMB covers the remaining Medicare-approved amounts for hospitals, doctors, and other Medicare-approved costs. In addition to having these savings, those who qualify for QMB also qualify for the lower costs for Medicare Part D drug plan premiums, deductibles, and drug copays.
Single: $1,275/month $9,430
Couple: $1,724 month $14,130