New poverty guidelines make health care more affordableNew federal poverty level guidelines were announced in late January and became effective Feb. 1.
By: By Pat Nelson/Elderly Benefit Specialist, Superior Telegram
New federal poverty level guidelines were announced in late January and became effective Feb. 1.
The guidelines are used to determine eligibility for a variety of assistance programs. This means the Medicare Savings Programs and Extra-help with prescription drugs now have higher income and asset limits.
Medicare Savings Programs could pay your Medicare part B premiums and possibly other Medicare costs if the following statements apply to you: You are single and your income is less than $1,257 per month or $15,080 per year and your resources are below $8,440; or you are married and your income is less than $1,702 per month or $20,426 per year and your resources are below $11,910.
Likewise, you may qualify to have low or zero premium Part D coverage with no coverage gap and low co-pays if you are single and your income is less than $1,396 per month or $16,755 per year and your resources are below $13,070; or you are married and your income is less than $1,891 per month or $22,695 per year and your resources are below $26,120. If your income exceeds these amounts, but some of your income is earned, you might still qualify for one of these programs.
Senior Care income limits also were raised in response to the higher federal poverty guidelines. Senior Care is Wisconsin’s State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program and is very popular with many Wisconsin seniors. In addition to these benefits that are intended to make health care more affordable, the Affordable Care Act made many preventive benefits available through Medicare at little or no cost to the consumer.
Consult your Medicare and You handbook for more information and a list of preventive services and how often they are allowed.
For information, contact Nelson at (715) 395-7533 or (715) 394-3611 or (800) 870-2181 on Tuesdays.