Save Money with Medicare

How to Save Money with Medicare

Enroll on Time!

Late enrollment leads to late-enrollment penalty fees, which are tacked on to your premium every month. The Part B premium late-enrollment penalty adds 10 percent of the standard premium for every twelve months you go without enrolling in Part B once you become eligible. Part D plans have a late-enrollment penalty if you went without creditable prescription drug coverage for more than 63 days before enrolling. Both of these penalties last for the duration of your coverage.

Enrolling in Medicare programs happens on a consistent cycle. You first have your Initial Enrollment Period, which begins three months before the month you turn 65 and lasts for seven months. Special Enrollment Periods are available for people who meet certain requirements. There is also an enrollment period from January 1 through March 31 called the General Enrollment Period. During this time, you can also adjust your Medicare Advantage plans. From October 15 to December 7, known as the Open Enrollment Period, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage Plan. The time to buy a Medicare Supplement Plan is during your Medigap Open Enrollment, which starts when you are enrolled in Part B and lasts for six months.

Medicare Savings Programs

There are four Medicare Savings Programs available, with differing eligibility based on income and countable resources (such as money in a checking or savings account, stocks, and bonds). These programs help pay your Medicare premiums (figures listed are for 2020). 

The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program helps pay for Part A premiums, Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. You may qualify if you are below a monthly income of $1,084 or $1,457 as a couple and with resources lower than $7,860 or $11,800 as a couple.

The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program helps pay for Part B premiums and is available for those with a monthly income less than $1,296 or $1,744 as a couple and with resources lower than $7,860 or $11,800 as a couple.

The Qualifying Individual Program helps pay for Part B premiums and is for those with a monthly income of less than $1,456 or $1,960 as a couple and with resources lower than $7,860 or $11,800 as a couple.

The Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program helps pay the Part A premium. It is for working disabled people under age 65 who lost their premium-free Part A when they returned to work. They must not be getting medical assistance from the state and have a monthly income limit of $4,339 or $5,833 as a couple and with resource limits of $4,000 or $6,000 as a couple.

Medicaid

Medicaid is a program jointly managed by the federal and state governments. It helps people with limited income and resources cover their medical costs. It also offers benefits like nursing home care and personal care services that are not covered by Medicare.

You can qualify for Medicaid, even if you have too much income to qualify if a state lets you “spend down.” In this case, you can subtract your medical expenses from your income to meet the eligibility requirements, as you are considered medically needy. Your resources must still meet the requirements for Medicaid.

Some people are dual-eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. In this case, Medicare pays first for all services covered by Medicare. You will automatically qualify for Extra Help if you have Medicare and full-Medicaid coverage.

Extra Help

Extra Help helps pay Medicare prescription drug plan (Part D) costs for people with limited income and resources. It helps pay costs like premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance for Part D. There are multiple levels of Extra Help based on income and resources, and these levels determine the amount covered.

PACE

Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) from Medicare and Medicaid helps people meet their healthcare needs in the community without having to go to a nursing home or care facility. PACE will coordinate your care and have you work with a PACE-preferred provider.

PACE contracts with specialists and provides care in the home, community, and PACE center. It can cover all services covered by Medicare and Medicaid. This includes adult day primary care, dentistry, emergency services, home care, hospital care, laboratory services, meals, medical specialty services, nursing home care, nutritional counseling, occupational therapy, and prescription drugs.

Those who qualify for PACE are 55 or older, need a nursing home level of care (as certified by the state), live in the service area of a PACE organization, and can live safely in the community with help from PACE.

Medicare Supplement Plans

Medicare Supplement (Medigap) Plans are designed to pay for the expenses of Original Medicare. When enrolled in Part A and Part B, you can add a Medigap plan to help pay your copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.

To learn more about how to save money with Medicare, reach out to Turning 65 Solutions today!

Turning 65 Solutions can help you plan for the future.