Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Medicare Savings Program?

Medicare has provided millions of senior citizens and people with disabilities with access to health care that they would not otherwise have had.  Congress has also created the Medicare Savings Program to protect low-income seniors and people with disabilities from the significant and growing costs required to receive Medicare coverage.

The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988 added a limited range of Medicaid benefits to a group of eligible persons called Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB).  In 1990 Congress increased Medicare cost-sharing amounts to a group called Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB).  There is also a group know as Qualified Individuals (QI-1).

Persons who have Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and income and resources that place them in one of these three groups can receive help with the payment of their Medicare premiums and, in some cases, their deductibles & co-payments along with payment of their monthly premium (up to $35) for the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D).

Do I have to have Medicare Part A to participate in Medicaid's Medicare Savings Program?

You must have Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A). If you are not sure if you have it, look on your Medicare card or call Social Security toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.

What are resources when being considered for the Medicare Savings Plan?

Your resources (the things you own) are things like:

    * cars, trucks, boats, and other vehicles
    * all property, including houses and heir property or estate property
    * all types of bank accounts, stocks, bonds, or other cash holdings
    * life or burial insurance
    * anything else of value

Some things (like the home you live in, one car, burial plots, furniture, and some life insurance) are not counted.

How do I apply for the Medicare Savings Program?

Obtain a Medicare Savings Program application from your local Medicaid Office, print the application form, or apply online.

1.  Fill out the form.
2.  Collect the information we need.
For anyone who needs help with Medicare  costs, we will need:

    * Social Security number for anyone who is applying
    * Alien registration card or immigration papers for anyone who is applying
    * Proof of your total family income for the last month
    * Medicare and any other health insurance card(s)

Send COPIES of as many of the needed items as you can when you send in your application.
3.  Take or send the completed form and the information to your local Medicaid Office.

Where can I call for help with the Medicare Savings Program?

If you need help to complete the application form or questions, please call your local parish Medicaid Office.

You may also call us toll-free at 1-888-544-7996.

If you are deaf or have hearing problems, you may call the TTY number toll-free at 1-800-220-5404.