There are financial resources available to help seniors with the costs of Medicare. Out-of-pocket costs, premiums, and copayments strain many financially to cover the costs.
The exact amount you pay for coverage is based on several factors, including your income. There are five different income tiers used to calculate costs, Part A is typically free for most people, and Part B carries a monthly premium of $164.90 in 2023. If you receive Social Security benefits, Railroad Retirement benefits, or Office of Personnel Management benefits, your Part B premium will be deducted each month from your benefit.
There are several programs available to help people with limited income get the coverage they need. Medicaid helps pay for medical costs for people with limited income and resources. In many cases, it offers additional benefits not provided by Medicare, such as nursing home care and prescription drug coverage. Eligibility rules differ by state. Be sure to call your state Medicaid program to see if you qualify.
State Medicare Savings
Created to help seniors pay for premiums and out-of-pocket costs like deductibles, coinsurance, copays, and even prescription drug coverage costs. Eligibility is based on income.
The PACE Program was created to help the elderly in need of nursing home-level care receive services at home or in a center rather than at a nursing home or elder care facility. To qualify, you must be at least 55 years old, live in the service area of a PACE organization, and need nursing home-level care. PACE often covers dental care, prescription drugs, meals, preventive care, emergency services, and more. If you qualify for Medicaid, you pay nothing for PACE coverage. If you do not qualify for Medicaid, you pay a monthly premium for prescription drugs along with a monthly premium to cover the costs of long-term care. However, there is no deductible or copayment.
The Extra Help Program helps pay for prescription coverage, available for those who meet certain income and resource limits. If you qualify, you may pay a reduced amount for your prescription drug plan premium and deductible. Seniors who have full Medicaid or get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, automatically qualify. Of course, using generic drugs over brand names, using mail-order services, and choosing the right plan can help keep drug costs low.
Medicare Savings Program
Extra Help with Part D