Georgia Medicare insurance is a program designed to cover medical expenses for qualifying beneficiaries. These qualified individuals are typically senior citizens who are older than 65, but workers with disabilities may qualify as well. The program is funded by the federal government, but Georgia has state programs to help pay for Medicare costs and to provide counseling regarding various aspects of Medicare.
Medicare generally offers two kinds of benefits. Medicare Part A covers hospital insurance and pays for inpatient care and other similar services. In most cases, beneficiaries of Medicare Part A do not have to pay a premium, but there are exceptions. Deductibles and copayments may also apply.
The other part of Medicare is Medicare Part B, which pays for the costs of medically necessary treatments and supplies. This time a premium is customary, and deductibles and copayments are involved as well.
Together, Medicare Parts A and B make up what is sometimes referred to as Original Medicare.
Those who wish for Medicare coverage along with additional benefits may approach private carriers for Medicare plans. These carriers may offer other types of Medicare coverage, as long as these carriers have been approved by Medicare.
One of the more popular options from private carriers is called Medicare Advantage Plans. These are also known as Medicare Part C. These offer coverage that at the very least matches the coverage of Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Often, an Advantage Plan can also cover medical services that are not covered by Original Medicare Parts A and B.
Medicare Part D is another option, and this time it offers coverage for the cost of prescription drugs. This can be a very valuable addition to the coverage of Medicare Parts A and B, as senior citizens are more apt to need a greater number of prescription medications. These prescription drugs can be quite expensive as well.
Other types of Medicare plans are supplemental. They may simply cover medical services that are not covered under Medicare Part A and Part B. Medicare supplemental plans may also cover deductibles and copayments for Original Medicare.
Georgia residents who are Medicare beneficiaries can contact Georgia Medicaid regarding the payment of Medicare expenses. The state offers programs known as Medicare Savings Plans (MSP) to help pay for premiums, deductibles, or copayments. The kind of assistance that the MSP offers will depend on several factors, including the income of the Medicare beneficiary.
One of these programs is the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program. QMBs are eligible to receive assistance to pay for Medicare premiums as well as for deductibles and coinsurance. To be eligible, an individual must not earn more than $1,025 per month. A person who lives with their spouse may qualify if their combined monthly income does not exceed $1,374.
The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program helps to pay for the Medicare Part B premium. Those SLMBs who qualify for this program must have an income of less than $1,226 per month. A married couple can be eligible with a combined monthly income of no more than $1,644.
The Qualifying Individuals (QI) Program offers the same benefit as the SLMB program, but it has a more limited funding. This is why the QIs receive benefits on a “first come, first served” basis. The income limit for an individual is $1,377 per month while for married couples it is $1,847 per month.
These income limits are for 2017, and the latest ceilings may have increased slightly. The latest reports also state that these MSP programs have an asset limit as well. For individuals, assets (excepting the house, a car, and other assets) must not total more than $7,390. Married couples have an asset limit of $11,090.
There is another program called the Qualified Disabled and Working Individual Program. This pays for monthly Medicare Part A premiums and is designed to help disabled persons under 65 who return to work. The monthly income limit for an individual is $4,105 per month, along with an asset limit of $4,000. For married couples, the income limit is $5,499 per month, and the asset limit is $6,000.
Another program called Extra Help offers help in paying for prescription medicine for low-income applicants. Individuals who qualify have an annual income limit of $18,090 with an asset limit of $13,820. Married couples have limits of $24,360 for income and $27,600 for assets.
If you have questions regarding Medicare, the state has the Georgia Cares program to help answer your questions and offer advice. This is part of the Georgia Department of Human Services.
Speak to a licensed agent today