Each state has different eligibility requirements for the MSPs. For instance, while all states require that applicants meet monthly income limits, those limits may vary from state to state. It is important to know that many states require you to apply for any money you might be eligible for, including Social Security retirement benefits, in order to qualify for an MSP.
Below are the baseline federal income and asset limits for each MSP. Most states use these limits, but some states have different guidelines. Additionally, several states do not apply asset limits. As of January 2019, Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Mississippi, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia do not have asset limits for MSPs.
MSP Income limit for 2019 Asset limit for 2019
QI $1,426 Individual
SLMB $1,269 Individual
QMB $1,061 Individual
Assets are resources such as savings and checking accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, retirement accounts, and real estate. In all states, there are certain resources that will never be counted as assets (see Are There Forms of Income and Assets That are Not Counted in MSP Budgeting?).
For states with MSP asset limits, these limits must be at least as high as the asset limit for Extra Help. Extra Help is the federal program that helps with Part D prescription drug costs if you meet the income and asset requirements. This change helps more people become eligible for MSPs and was the result of the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA).
In 2019, the asset limits for full Extra Help are $9,230 for individuals and $14,600 for couples. There is an automatic disregard (subtraction) of $1,500 from these limits for burial funds. This means that you could be eligible for an MSP with assets totaling $7,730 for individuals and $11,600 for couples. MSP limits appear lower than Extra Help limits because they do not automatically include burial funds. This means that the $1,500 disregard for MSP eligibility typically will not apply unless you prove that you have set aside these funds in a designated account or in a pre-paid burial fund.
Remember that some states have higher or no MSP asset limits. Call your local Medicaid office or State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for more information about MSPs in your state. Contact your SHIP by calling 877-839-2675 or visiting www.shiptacenter.org.
Read More: What are the Benefits Included in the Medicare Savings Programs?
Learn About: How Can I apply for a Medicare Savings Program?
Return to: Medicare Basics
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