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Medicare Part B premiums

Posted Tuesday, March 10, 2009, at 11:18 AM

QMB, SLMB, QI...Sounds like this article is beginning with some serious typos doesn't it? Actually these are acronyms of words you may have heard before. All of these programs deal with Medicare Part B premiums and are designed to assist people on Medicare who could use some extra help paying the cost of health care. The income guidelines for these programs will increase on April 1, 2009 and are used in this article.

QMB, an acronym for the Qualified Medicare Benefits is for people at or below the national poverty level and will pay your deductible and coinsurance for both Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) and your monthly Part B premium.

The deductible for 2009 for hospital (Part A) for days 1 -- 60 is $1068.00

The deductible for 2009 for medical (Part B) is $135.00

The co-insurance is generally 20% of the cost after the deductible is met on either Part A or Part B

The cost for Part B premium for 2009 is $96.40.

You qualify for QMB if:

* You have Medicare

* Your monthly income is below $903 for a single person and $1215 for a married couple (these amounts change every year)

SLMB is for people with income slightly higher than the poverty level and will pay for your monthly Part B premium.

You qualify for SLMB if:

* You have Medicare

* Your monthly income is below $1083 as a single person or $1457 as a married couple (these amounts change every year)

For those of you who have still higher income, you may qualify for QI. which will also pay your Part B premium.

You qualify for QI if:

* You have Medicare

* Your monthly income is below $1219 as a single person or $1640 as a married couple

Resources, or things you own not counting your house and one car, for these programs can be no more than $4000 for a single person or $6000 for a married couple.

Anyone who qualifies for any of the above programs is automatically eligible for the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy. This subsidy will pay part or all of your Part D premium, deductible and significantly lower the cost of your prescription drugs during the entire year.

For more information about these programs please contact me at 1-800-392-8771 or locally at 335-3331.



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Age Spots
Ruth Dockins
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Ruth Dockins is the Public Information Director for the Southeast Missouri Area Agency on Aging and author of 'Age Spots,' a column/blog which is featured in several Southeast Missouri newspapers and is devoted to seniors and senior lifestyles.
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