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Medicare Savings Program Expands to Benefit 40,000 More Individuals

Lorraine York-Edberg, SHINE Regional Program DirectorLorraine York-Edberg, SHINE Regional Program DirectorAccording to a Press Release from the Governor’s Office, 40,000 more Medicare Beneficiaries across the state of Massachusetts will be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program. Starting January 1, 2020, income eligibility expanded for the MSP program from 135% to 165% of the Federal Poverty Level, and the asset limit doubled.

Starting January 1, 2020, income eligibility expanded for the MSP program from 135% to 165% of the Federal Poverty Level, and the asset limit doubled.

This is GREAT news for those who are newly eligible! It will increase the quality of life for many by directly increasing their income and adding significant benefits towards medications.

If you qualify, these programs will pay your monthly Part B premium ($144.60) and in some cases your Part A and B deductibles, co-pays and Part A premium (if you have one).

See If You Qualify

If your income and assets are at or below the amounts listed here, you may qualify for help from one of the Medicare Savings Programs.

Income and Asset Limits Effective Jan. 1, 2020
  Income/Month Assets
Single $1,738 $15,720
Married $2,346 $23,600
Prescription Drug Co-Payments with Extra Help Effective Jan. 1, 2020
  Per 30-Day Supply
Generic $3.60
Brand Name $8.95

And Better Still…

If you qualify for any Medicare Savings programs, you will also automatically qualify for a full subsidy under the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS), which is also known as "Extra Help." This program in many cases pays the monthly premiums for your Medicare Prescription Drug plan, provided you are enrolled in a qualified plan. The LIS will also assist with covering drugs at low cost and assist during the Part D deductible and coverage gap.

Additionally these programs are not subject to estate recovery since January of 2010, so the state will NOT place a lien on your property to recover benefits following your death.

To apply, it is an easy, one page application, and simple to fill out. To get this application you can contact MassHealth at 1-800-841-2900 and request the Medicare Buy-In application and they can send it to you. Applications are also available online. We also have applications available here at the regional SHINE office upon request. If you need assistance filling it out we are happy to help.

-This article is based on a news release from the Governor’s Press Office and Outreach Materials developed from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

The SHINE program, Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone, provides confidential and unbiased health insurance counseling for Medicare beneficiaries. This is a free service, though contributions are welcome and will go a long way to help support this vital program. For further assistance with any Medicare issue, you can make a SHINE appointment. To reach a trained and certified counselor in your area, contact the regional office at 1-800-498-4232 or 413-773-5555, or contact your local council on aging.