Question: Can I apply for Medicare Savings Programs any time or only during yearly enrollment?
Answer: You can apply for the Medicare Saving Programs at any time during the year because you are applying to your state’s Medicaid office and not Medicare.
The Medicare Savings Program (MSP) is a federally funded program administered by each individual state. These programs are for people with limited income and resources to help pay some or all of their Medicare premiums, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance.
There are four levels of Medicare Savings Programs:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary
- Qualifying Individual
- Qualified Disabled & Working Individuals
General eligibility for the MSP:
- Reside in a state or the District of Columbia
- Are aged 65 or older
- Receive Social Security Disability benefits
- People with certain disabilities or permanent kidney failure (even if under age 65)
- Meet standard income and resource requirements
Only the state you reside in can determine if an individual qualifies for coverage under one of the programs. Many states apply different standards and methods to determine MSP eligibility. Some states, for example, have no resources for these programs or figure the income and resources differently.
If you would like to find out if you’re eligible for any of Social Security’s benefit programs, use the U.S. Social Security Administration’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST). Once you have completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you will be provided with a list of benefits for which you may be eligible.