How to Cover Medicare Costs

Medicare is a governmental insurance program that covers most of the cost of healthcare for seniors. However, it is not inclusive, and for struggling seniors, covering the extra costs can be quite challenging. There are several options for helping seniors pay the excess out of pocket fees for their health needs.

Medicare Savings Program

Medicare Savings Program (MSP) will cover out of pocket costs for seniors who can’t manage it on their own. There are different levels of coverage based on eligibility requirements that depend on how insecure the financial situation is. 

The most generous level covers all of Medicare Parts A and B, including premiums, co-payments and deductibles. The lowest level of coverage only includes premiums for Medicare Part B. the coverage level is based on the senior’s income and assets. Outcomes vary by state, with some giving greater or lesser coverage for the same income and asset levels. But the minimum Medicare mandated income level is 135% of the domestic poverty level, including income, pensions, retirement plans and other help. This figure is currently at around $1,426. States can also use an asset test, which counts savings plans and other accounts, but does not include a house or car. This number can be as low as $7,736 for an individual and $11,600 for a married couple.

While some states use these mandated limits, others have much higher limits and more generous plans, and decline using any asset tests. They might also be operated under other names. You can see a full listing of state MSP programs at the Medicare website.

Extra Help

This is a program that helps Medicare clientele with Medicare Part D, prescription drugs. The office is run through the Social Security division, and if someone is eligible for MSP, they are automatically qualified for Extra Help. However, the eligibility requirements are lower, so people who are not eligible for MSP might qualify for Extra Help. The upper income limit for Extra Help is $18,735 for an individual and $25, 365 for a couple, with an asset limit of $14,390 for an individual and $28,720 for a couple. Extra Help covers premiums, co-payments and deductibles.

Other governmental organizations that can help with low-income seniors:

Supplemental Security Income

SSI is a program that helps disabled people who have limited income. In certain cases, people over the age of 65 who are not disabled may qualify for SSI as well. You can apply through your local Social Security office.

Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly

PACE is a program operated through Medicare that services people who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. It’s a comprehensive system of coordinated care for old, sick people who are eligible for nursing home care but can live within their community.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

SNAP is a program that covers food and nutritional sustenance to low-income families.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

LIHEAP helps low-income families cover energy costs.

There are 2,500 programs in the country that can help seniors pay their bills, and there are online resources to help you figure out what you qualify for. Try benefitscheckup to see what you are eligible for.

When you come for a stay at Sinai Post Acute Care Center for Rehabilitation, you may be eligible for complete Medicare coverage. Find out how we can help you in a financially stable way.