If you are a Medicare beneficiary with a low income you may qualify for programs that will lower your costs for healthcare. Unfortunately, many more people qualify for these programs than know that these programs exist.
Connecticut MSP Program
Lowering the Cost of Connecticut Medicare insurance
The State of Connecticut has a program that pays for many of our clients’ Medicare Part B premiums and/or lowers their cost for their private Medicare health plan. This program is called the Medicare Savings Plan or “Connecticut MSP” for short. It helps many people who would otherwise not be able to afford Connecticut Medicare insurance premiums, copay and deductibles.
There are several other benefits you may enjoy. You may pay lower copays for your prescription drugs. You may qualify for Medicare plans that others do not. You may pay less for your CT Medicare Advantage plan or your prescription drug plan.
This is a government-based program it is not an insurance product, but we have helped many of our clients enroll in this program and would be happy to help you. We do not charge a fee for this service.
You can enroll in this program any month of the year if you qualify. You won’t have to wait for the next Annual Election Period (Open Enrollment) to do so.
Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for this program may qualify for a Medicare health plan that is not available to the general public. They are also able to switch health plans and drug policies in the middle of the year. Most people can only switch plans during the Annual Election Period (Open Enrollment Period) which occurs from October 15th through December 7th of each year.
This program is administered by the Department of Social Services. This is the same department that administers the state’s Medicaid program (HUSKY). This is not available through Access Health. You will need to apply through the Department of Social Services. I can help you apply.
There are two important differences between the MSP program and the Medicaid program. Your assets will not keep you from qualifying. The value of your home or other assets won’t keep you from enrolling, like it does with similar programs in other states. The State will not reduce the money your children or other heirs can receive when you pass away based on your enrollment in the MSP program.
There are three tiers for this program. Which level you qualify for depends on your current monthly, not annual income.
The 2017 monthly income limits for Connecticut MSP program are below
Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries
Those who qualify for the first tier are called Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries or QMBs for short. When agents talk to each other we often refer to people at this level as “Quimbies.” The QMB income limits are based on monthly income. The income limit for this level is $2,120.55 for a single person and $2,854.83 for a couple.
If you qualify for the QMB or “Quimby” level, you will no longer have to pay your Medicare Part B premium. This premium is approximately $134 each month in 2017. You may not know that you are paying for this, because it probably is deducted from your Social Security check.
The state may pay a portion of your private health insurance premium or your prescription drug plan. You may also qualify for a plan or plans with enhanced benefits that other Medicare beneficiaries do not.
Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries
Those who qualify for the second tier are referred to as Special Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries or SLMBs for short. Agents often refer to those on this level as “Slimbies” The monthly income limit for this level is $2,321.55 for a single person and $3,125.43 for a couple in 2017.
The benefits are lower for this tier, but still worth enrolling in my opinion. The State of Connecticut will pay the full Medicare Part B premiums for “Slimbies.” This will amount to a savings of over $1,600 per year. If you qualify for this program your costs for your prescription coverage can be reduced, but the reduction will be less than if you qualified as a QMB.
Additional Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries
Those who qualify for the third tier are called Additional Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries or ALMBs for short. The monthly income limit for this level is $2,472.30 for a single person and $3,328.38 for a couple in 2017.
The benefits are even lower for this tier, but still worth enrolling in my opinion. The State of Connecticut will pay the full Medicare Part B premiums for ALMBs. If you qualify for this program your costs for your prescription coverage can be reduced, but the reduction will be less than if you qualified as a SLMB.
This program can make a difference in the quality of life for Medicare beneficiaries with low incomes. Please share this information with anyone who might benefit from it. It could mean the difference between them being able to pay for all their medications instead of just some of them.
However, we can help you whether your income is over or under the Medicare Savings program 2017 income limits. I can help you see all your options including both your CT Medigap plans and Advantage plan options. I can help you find Connecticut Medicare insurance premiums and options for the plan that will serve you best.