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Help with Medicare Costs
The Medicare Savings Program


Is there any help for people who can not afford to pay their Medicare premiums, co-payments or deductibles?

Yes. For people with low income, MaineCare can help pay some or all of the Medicare premiums, co-payments and deductibles. This MaineCare program is called the Medicare Savings program. It is also known as the Medicare Buy-in program.

Who can get help from the Medicare Savings Program?

  • If you are single and your income is less than $1745 a month you may get help.
  • If you are married and your income is less than $2347 a month then you may get help.
  • If only one person in a couple wants the help, then the income limit may be as high as $2684 per month.
  • If you have earned income, the income limits may be higher.
  • Any assets you have will not count.

Can the Medicare Savings Program help me with prescription drug costs?

Yes. If you get into the Medicare Savings Program, then you will not have any Medicare Part D:

  • premiums
  • deductibles
  • "donut hole"

Your co-payments will be very low. Be sure to show your pharmacist your Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled (DEL) card to get the lowest co-payments. If you have questions, call the Pharmacy Help Desk at 1-866-796-2463 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-866-796-2463      end_of_the_skype_highlighting (TTY 1-800-423-4331 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-423-4331      end_of_the_skype_highlighting).

You can change your Part D plan whenever you want.

Can the Medicare Savings Program help with any other Medicare costs?

Yes. Once you are in the program, you will not have to pay your Medicare Part B premium. You will save $96.40 per month!

If your income is low, you can also get help with your Medicare Part A & B coinsurance and deductible.

How do I apply for the Medicare Savings Program?

You apply at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

  • You can call 1-877-543-7669 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-877-543-7669      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and ask them to send an application to you. Or,
  • You can go in to the your nearest DHHS office and get an application

To estimate what benefits you may be able to get, use DHHS's Medicare Savings Calculator.

Do I have to reapply each year?

You will get a form in the mail before the end of each twelve month period. Be sure to fill it out and send it in right away.

Will my estate have to pay MaineCare back for what it pays for me in the Medicare Savings Program?

No. If you are only on the Medicare Savings Program, the State will not go after your estate.

However, if you get regular MaineCare and you are age 55 or older, DHHS may make a claim on your estate after you die, to recover the money that MaineCare has paid for your care.

If I have a Medigap (Medicare Supplement) policy, should I keep it if I get onto this program?

Probably not. You may find – depending on the coverage you have chosen – that you no longer need that policy.

You can suspend your Medigap policy for up to 24 months. Call Legal Services for the Elderly at 1-800-750-5353 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              1-800-750-5353      end_of_the_skype_highlighting before you suspend r drop your policy to be sure it’s the best thing to do.

Disclaimer

Maine Equal Justice Partners
February 2009

We are providing this information as a public service. We try to make it accurate as of the date indicated for each client education page. Sometimes the law changes. We cannot guarantee or promise that this information is always up-to-date and correct. Feel free to contact us to find out if there have been any changes since the date of the information provided.

We do not intend this information to be legal advice. We do not intend it as advertising or solicitation. By providing this information, we are not acting as your lawyer. It is best to consult a competent lawyer before taking legal action.

Because it is important that information be shared, we encourage reproduction and distribution of our work so long as appropriate acknowledgement is made. Please check with us for updates on information before distributing any dated material.


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