Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans

What does Medicare Supplement cover?

Medicare Supplement Plans are another option to help pay expenses not covered by Medicare. They work like traditional insurance to cover costs like deductibles, coinsurance, doctor’s excess charges and extra days in the hospital. Medicare Supplement Plans do not take over administration of your Medicare plan, they work with it.

How does Medicare Supplement work?

A wide range of plans are available, from the more economical to the more comprehensive. Some other things not paid for by Medicare, such as emergency care in foreign countries. Some Medicare Supplement Plans do not cover current health problems or problems that you had in the past. Under certain conditions, the waiting period must be waived.

How much Medicare Supplement cost?

The more comprehensive the plan, the more it will cost. Monthly premiums are generally higher than Medicare Advantage Plan premiums. Medicare Supplement Plans are standardized, which means that plan benefits will be the same from company to company. Rates and service may vary widely, so it pays to shop around.

Enrolling in a Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan

When should I enroll in Medicare Supplement?

The best time to buy a Medicare Supplement policy is during the 6-month period that begins on the first day of the month in which you are age 65 or older and enrolled in Part B. (Some states have additional open enrollment periods). After this initial enrollment period, your option to buy a Medicare Supplement policy may be limited. If you are under age 65 and medicare eligible, you may have additional rights to buy a Medicare Supplement policy, depending on the laws of your state.

Medicare Savings Programs

What are Medicare Savings Programs?

You can get help from your state paying your Medicare premiums. In some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions listed under How do I apply for Medicare Savings Programs?

4 kinds of Medicare Savings Programs

If you have income from working, you qualify for these 4 programs even if your income is higher than the income limits in the following list.

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

Program helps pay for: Part A premiums, Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.

QMB Program income & resource limits for 2018:
Individual monthly income limit $1,032
Married couple monthly income limit $1,392
Individual resource limit $7,560
Married couple resource limit $11,340

2. Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)

Program helps pay for: Part B premiums only.

SLMB Program income & resource limits for 2018:
Individual monthly income limit $1,234
Married couple monthly income limit $1,666
Individual resource limit $7,560
Married couple resource limit $11,340

3. Qualifying Individual (QI) Program

Program helps pay for: Part B premiums only.

You must apply every year for QI benefits. QI applications are granted on a first-come, first-served basis, with priority given to people who got QI benefits the previous year. (You can’t get QI benefits if you qualify for Medicaid).

QI Program income & resource limits for 2018:
Individual monthly income limit $1,386
Married couple monthly income limit $1,872
Individual resource limit $7,560
Married couple resource limit $11,340

4. Qualifying Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program

Program helps pay for: Part A premiums only.

The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium. You may qualify if any of these apply to you:

  • You’re a working disabled person under 65
  • You lost your premium-free Part A when you went back to work
  • You aren’t getting medical assistance from your state
  • You meet the income and resource limits required by your state
QDWI Program income & resource limits for 2018:
Individual monthly income limit $4,132
Married couple monthly income limit $5,572
Individual resource limit $4,000
Married couple resource limit $6,000

(2018). Medicare Savings Programs. Retrieved from https://www.medicare.gov/

If you qualify for QMB, SLMB, or QI program, you automatically qualify to get Extra Help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage.

The benefit information provided herein is a brief summary, not a comprehensive description of benefits. For more information contact the insurance plan provider.