If you currently have Medicare and finding it tough to make ends meet or pay the monthly health care premium, you might qualify for Medicare programs that can help you save money on medical and drug costs.


If you have very limited income and resources available to help with expenses, you might qualify for a program known as Medicaid. It is a joint federal and state program specifically designed to help with medical costs and premiums. There are many benefits not normally covered with Medicare-like nursing home care and personal care services. In order to find out if you qualify for these benefits, contact your local Social Services Department or State Medical Assistance Office. Learn how to apply for these benefits and how Medicare coordinates with Medicaid.

Even if you don’t qualify for Medicaid, one of the following 4 programs might be able to help you pay for premiums and other Medicare costs. They are:

  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB):
    2021 Individual Monthly Income Limit–$1,094 Single, $1,472 Married
    2021 Individual Resource Limit–$7,974 Single, $11,960 Married
    The program helps pay for Part A & Part B premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copays
  • Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (SLMB):
    State Program that helps pay for Part B premiums for people that have Part A and limited income and resources
    2021 Individual Monthly Income Limit–$1,308 Single, $1,762 Married
    2021 Individual Resource Limit–$7,970 Single, 11,960 Married
  • Qualifying Individual Program (QMI):
    A state program that helps pay Part B premiums for those with limited income and resources. Must apply every year and applications are accepted on a first-come-first-served basis.
    2021 Individual Monthly Income Limit–$1,469 Single, $1,980 Married
    2021 Individual Resource Limit–$7,970, $11,960 Married
  • Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals Program (QDWI):
    The QDWI program helps pay the Part A premium. You may qualify if any of these apply to you:
    You’re a working disabled person under 65 or You lost your Social Security disability benefits and premium-free Part A because you returned to work or You aren’t getting medical assistance from your state.

What Counts in These Programs?

  • Countable:

    Money in a checking or savings account

Countable resources don’t include:

Your home
One car
Burial plot
Up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you have put that money aside
Other household and personal items