Medicare Savings Programs
To make sure your provider knows you have QMB, show both your Medicare and Medicaid or QMB card each time you get care. If you get a bill for medical care Medicare covers, call your provider or plan about the charges. Tell them that you have QMB and can’t be charged for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. If this doesn’t resolve the billing problem, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
Medicare Information and Plan Comparisons
While health care was not central to the 2016 Presidential campaign, the election’s outcome will be a major determining factor in the country’s future health care policy. A number of issues have garnered media attention, including the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), rising prescription drug costs, and the opioid epidemic.
Medicare.gov: the official U.S. government site for Medicare
Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs
On November 14, 2016 we published the Medicare Program: Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment and Ambulatory Surgical Center Payment Systems and Quality Reporting Programs; Organ Procurement Organization Reporting and Communication; Transplant Outcome Measures and Documentation Requirements; Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs; Payment to Nonexcepted Off-Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital; Hospital Value-Based Purchasing (VBP) Program; Establishment of Payment Rates Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule for Nonexcepted Items and Services Furnished by an Off-Campus Provider-Based Department of a Hospital final rule with comment period which contains several changes that will directly affect the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. To access the published rule, please click here.
Medicare Savings Programs Help Pay Medicare Costs for Qualified Low
To be eligible as a Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), your income must be no more than slightly above the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG), or Federal Poverty Level (FPL). This figure is established each year by the federal government; in 2017, the poverty level is $12,060 per year for an individual and $16,240 per year for a married couple. These figures are somewhat higher in Alaska and Hawaii. It’s important to know, however, that certain amounts of income are not counted in determining QMB eligibility. Particularly if you are still working and most of your income comes from your earnings, you may be able to qualify as a QMB even if your total income is almost twice the FPG. QMB follows the SSI guidelines on what income that should be counted, which means roughly half of your income from work is not counted. If, after applying these rules, the figure you arrive at is anywhere close to the QMB qualifying limit ($1,025 in monthly countable income in 2017), it is worth applying for it.