—Benefit saves beneficiaries an estimated $7,300 a year in health care costs—
New York, NY—Starting January 1, 2023, eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) expanded in New York to individuals with Medicare who have an income up to $2,107 per month and couples with monthly incomes up to $2,839. There are no asset limits for the MSP in New York.
The MSP helps older adults and people with disabilities living on low incomes by paying their Medicare Part B premiums ($164.90 each month) and enrolling them in Extra Help, the federal prescription drug subsidy program that the Social Security Administration estimates is worth about $5,300 per year. This financial assistance can be a lifeline, allowing enrollees to maintain their Medicare coverage, access needed care, and afford other necessities, like food and rent.
“This historic change will help nearly 300,000 more New Yorkers access the vital benefits they need and help with the costs of daily living,” said Fred Riccardi, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “We encourage everyone who thinks they might be eligible to be screened for the Medicare Savings Program. For enrollment assistance, the Medicare Rights Center is standing by to help,” said Mr. Riccardi.
To qualify for an MSP, a beneficiary must have Medicare Part A and meet income and asset guidelines (note that these guidelines vary by state, and some states do not count assets when determining MSP eligibility). If a beneficiary cannot afford the monthly Part A premium, their state may have a process to allow them to enroll in premium-free Part A if they are eligible for the MSP called Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). Many states allow this throughout the year, but others limit when beneficiaries can enroll in Part A.
States use different rules to count income and assets to determine eligibility for an MSP. Examples of income include wages and Social Security benefits. Examples of assets include checking accounts and stocks. Certain income and assets may not count when determining MSP eligibility, and some states do not have an asset limit.
If a beneficiary’s income or assets seem to be above the MSP guidelines, they should still apply if they need help.
For MSP enrollment assistance, call the Medicare Rights Center helpline at 800-333-4114 or visit www.medicareinteractive.org/mspny.
Spread the word and learn more about this crucial benefit by using the Medicare Rights Center’s outreach kit.