What are the Benefits Included in the Medicare Savings Programs?If you qualify for one of the three main MSPs, your Medicare Part B monthly premium will no longer be deducted from your Social Security check. Additionally, you will automatically get Extra Help, the federal program that helps with Part D prescription drug costs. Each MSP program also offers separate benefits. Remember, you cannot choose to apply for a certain MSP: you will be enrolled in the MSP that corresponds to your income, assets, and other application details.

Qualified Individual (QI)
If you are enrolled in the QI program, you may receive up to three months of retroactive reimbursement for Part B premiums that were deducted from your Social Security check. Note that you can only be reimbursed for premiums paid up to three months before your MSP effective date, and within the same year of that effective date. For example, if you submitted an MSP application at the end of 2019 and are approved for February 2020, you can only receive premium reimbursement for January 2020 because you cannot be reimbursed for premiums paid in the previous year. If your QI effective date is April 2020, you would receive premium reimbursements for January, February, and March.

Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)
If you are enrolled in the SLMB program, you may receive up to three months of retroactive reimbursement for Part B premiums. Unlike QI, you may be reimbursed for premiums from the previous calendar year. For example, if you submitted an MSP application at the end of 2019 and are approved for February 2020, you may be reimbursed for premiums paid in November and December of 2019 as well as January 2020.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
Unlike QI and SLMB, QMB does not offer retroactive premium reimbursement, but there are other benefits. Federal law prohibits Medicare providers from billing you if you are enrolled in QMB. This means Medicare providers should not bill you for any Medicare-covered services you receive. Additionally, if you have to pay Part A premiums, QMB will pay the Part A premium for you. If you or your spouse did not work 40 quarters (10 years) in the United States and pay into the Social Security payroll tax system, then you owe a premium for Part A (up to $437 in 2019).

Read More: How Can I Apply for a Medicare Savings Program?
Learn About: Are There Forms of Income and Assets That are Not Counted in MSP Budgeting?
Return to: Medicare Basics

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