In Arkansas, the average yearly cost of health insurance is $2,832. Fortunately, senior citizens over the age of 65 qualify for Arkansas Medicare insurance, a program that offers health insurance coverage at little to no cost. Disabled workers may also qualify for Medicare. This is sponsored by the federal government, but the Arkansas state government also offers assistance for Medicare beneficiaries.
Medicare usually comes in the form of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (necessary medical treatments and supplies). Most of the time, Part A is free although there may be deductibles and coinsurance payments. Part B may require a premium depending on the income, along with deductibles and coinsurance as well.
If you wish, you can obtain Medicare benefits through private health insurance carriers. These may offer additional benefits that are not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B.
The Medicare Supplement Insurance Plan is one example of a Medicare plan you can obtain from the private sector. These plans can help provide more coverage for your deductibles and coinsurance. You may also receive additional covered medical services that are not covered by Medicare Part A and Part B.
Another type of Medicare plan available from private carriers is called Medicare Advantage Plans, though they’re sometimes referred to as Medicare Part C. This offers coverage that is similar to the combined coverage of Medicare Part A and Part B. In many cases, this plan may also offer extra coverage that isn’t part of Original Medicare, which increases its appeal to many individuals.
Medicare Part D plans exist as well. These are supplemental plans that cover the costs of prescription medication, which can be excessively expensive for senior citizens. These plans can be purchased as an addition to Medicare Parts A and B to offer a much more comprehensive coverage.
Not everyone can afford Medicare, especially individuals whose incomes are comparatively low. However, residents of Arkansas may be able to qualify for one of the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) available in the state. These are offered by private carriers that have been approved by Medicare.
The most generous of these assistance programs offer help for Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB). The QMBs receive financial assistance to help pay for premiums for Medicare Part A and Part B. They may also receive help to pay for coinsurance and deductibles. An individual can qualify for this program if their income each month does not go over $1,025. Married couples can be eligible as well, as long as their combined income does not exceed $1,374 per month.
The next program is for Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB). These SLMBs get help to pay for premiums for just the Medicare Part B. Individuals who qualify must have a monthly income of less than $1,226. The income for married couples is a combined total of $1,644 per month.
Qualified Individuals or QIs may also receive assistance to cover part of the premium for Medicare Part B. The QI must have an income per month of no more than $1,377 while married couples can qualify if their combined monthly income is less than $1,847 a month.
For those workers with disabilities, Medicare savings are available with the program for Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI). QDWIs can receive assistance in covering the premium of Medicare Part A as long as their income does not exceed $4,105 per month. The combined income limit per month for married couples is $5,499.
Finally, there’s a Low-Income Subsidy Program that offers “Extra Help” for individuals whose yearly income is less than $18,090 and whose resources (such as property, stocks, and bank savings) total no more than $13,820. Married couples can receive this subsidy if their combined income is no more than $24,360 and their combined resources total under $27,600.
The state of Arkansas has a Senior Health Insurance Information Program to help Medicare beneficiaries navigate the confusing rules of these various programs. SHIIP is an independent organization with no ties to private insurance companies. Their goal is to provide assistance and understanding so that qualified individuals can apply successfully with the Medicare program they need. If you have any questions about Medicare in Arkansas, the state’s SHIIP will offer valuable one-on-one confidential counseling.
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