Medicare Savings Programs (QMB, SLMB, and QI Programs)
The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary program (QMB), Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary program (SLMB), and Qualified Individual program (QI), help Medicare beneficiaries of modest means pay all or some of Medicare's cost sharing amounts (ie. premiums, deductibles and co-payments). To qualify an individual must be eligible for Medicare and must meet certain income guidelines which change annually. These programs are administered by the State Department of Social Services (DSS).
All three levels pay the Medicare part B premium ($134 in 2018) and it eliminates any premium penalty. It also enrolls you automatically in Extra Help for your prescription coverage, which pays some or all of the Medicare part D premium costs and your co-pays are reduced to no more than $8.35 for each medication. Only QMB acts like a Medicare supplement and pays the out of pocket expenses for Medicare Part A and B. To check if you are eligible please check the most up-to-date income levels by clicking on the following link. Medicare Savings Program
When a Medicare beneficiary applies and is granted the Medicare Savings Program, they are subsequently automatically granted a secondary program known as Full Extra Help or Low Income Subsidy. Beneficiaries on Full Extra Help are able to select a Part D Prescription Drug Plan known as a Benchmark Plan. There are 8 Benchmark plans being offered in Connecticut in 2018. The premium amount for this benchmark plan is set each year and is waived for those individuals who are on Full Extra Help. If an individual cannot find a benchmark plan that covers all of their prescription medications, they can enroll in another plan and Full Extra Help will then pay up the Benchmark rate of $35.58 and the beneficiary would pay the difference.
2018 Benchmark Plans (CT Approved Zero Premium for People on Extra-Help)