This story was originally posted on January 20, 2017 and was last updated on July 18, 2017.
You pay in to Medicare for coverage of various preventive and medical services for your healthcare needs. But did you know there are opportunities for you to get some of that money back? That’s why it’s important to keep your receipts from your medical bills and prescriptions. With them, you may be eligible to get back some of the money you put into the system.
You have the opportunity to get money back from Medicare if you:
- Have limited income and limited resources
- Have Supplemental Security Income
- Received any of the following:
If you’ve received any of the notices listed above, call your plan or contact Medicare’s Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition (NET) Program at 1-800-783-1307.
What is Extra Help?
If you are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A, you may also qualify to receive what Medicare calls “Extra Help,” which is referred to as Medicare Savings Programs (MSP). Medicare offers different kinds of MSPs depending on your circumstances, including:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
- Qualifying Individual (QI) Program
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
- State Programs
What qualifies you to receive money back?
If you receive QMB support, make sure you show your Medicare or Medicaid QMB card to your healthcare provider. If you still receive a bill for medical expenses that are supposed to be covered by Medicare, call your provider or plan, or call 1-800-633-4227 (aka 1-800-MEDICARE).
You cannot qualify for the QI program if you are already qualified for Medicaid, and you must apply every year. Be quick and efficient about it, too, as applications are granted on first-come, first-served basis.
You may qualify for the QDWI program if:
- You’re a working disabled person under 65
- You lost your premium-free Part A when you went back to work
- You aren’t getting medical assistance from your state
- You meet the income and resource limits required by your state
You can reapply for Extra Help at any time if your income and resources change.
To help provide some more clarity, we dug into the descriptions on Medicare.gov to bring you simple answers. In short, you have to have a low income as well as limited available resources to qualify for receiving money back from Medicare. Take note: these ranges and limits may increase in 2018, but you may still qualify if your income and resources are only slightly higher than the new amount. If you live in Alaska or Hawaii: limits may be slightly higher. Here are the details for each plan:
To see if you qualify to receive “Extra Help” from Medicare, try one of these steps:
- Visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office
- Call SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
- Applying on the Social Security Administrations’ website
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Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.
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