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Massachusetts Eliminates Asset Limit for Medicare Savings Programs

Mecicare-asset-limit-Margolis-Bloom-Dagostino-Wellesley-617-705-6400

Once you start receiving Medicare, whether because you’ve reached age 65 or are disabled and qualify for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you’re all set, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy and not so cheap. You still have to pay a premium for Medicare Part B, which is deducted from your Social Security payment if you’re receiving Social Security. The standard premium in 2024 is $174.70 a month, but can be as high as $594 a month for high-income beneficiaries.

In addition, there are co-payments and deductibles, for which many people purchase Medigap insurance. And you need to purchase Medicare Part D drug coverage.

For people who are low-income, Congress created two Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) to assist with these costs, the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) and the Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) programs. They essentially permit beneficiaries to qualify for Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) solely for the purpose of paying the Medicare deductibles and co-payments, as well as for Medicare Part D.

Up until this year, Medicare beneficiaries in Massachusetts had to meet MassHealth’s asset limits to qualify for the MSPs. As of March 1, they have eliminated the asset limit, which both makes it much easier to apply for coverage and allows many more seniors and people with disabilities to qualify.

The MSP income limits still apply, which this year are $2,824 a month for individuals and $3,833 a month for married couples. (These are the SLMB income limits. The QMB limits are a bit lower. SLMB coverage is somewhat less comprehensive than QMB coverage.)

For more information about the MSP programs and applications, go to the Mass.gov website here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/get-help-paying-medicare-costs.

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