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When Medicare open enrollment makes the rounds, it's the perfect time for seniors to jump on board, however, it can also be a potentially confusing time if you don't have the right tools and knowledge. That's where Medicare Misty and her agency can help.

"You might qualify for extra help paying for prescriptions, Medicare premium, and copays and deductibles," Misty Bolt shared, noting the many faucets of the field.

When it comes to Medicare savings programs, Bolt and her team know their stuff and work to guide clients to find the right fit for them while saving the most they can. According to medicare.gov, you can get help from your state paying your Medicare premiums. Bolt shared that in some cases, Medicare Savings Programs may also pay Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments if you meet certain conditions.

(For list of conditions, clients can visit the website under the "How do I apply for Medicare Savings Programs?" tab.)

In total, there are four kinds of Medicare Savings Programs available to those enrolling that each have various levels of assistance:

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program

Qualifying Individual (QI) Program

Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program

Bolt also pointed out that if people applying do still have income from working, they still may or may not qualify for the programs and it's important to research every faucet during the application process.

For those clients who qualify for the QMB program, SLMB, or QI program, they automatically qualify to get extra help paying for Medicare prescriptions.

Amounts might increase from year to year, but Bolt and her team advise that clients should still apply even if their income and resources are slightly above what the programs cap.

So then the question might come up of what items are included in the Medicare Savings Program resource limits? Bolt and her team can help guide through these as well.

Countable resources include money in a checking or savings account, stocks, and bonds. Resources do not include a home, car, burial plot, up to $1,500 burial expenses (for those who have that put aside), furniture, and any other household or personal items of value.

Changes are also coming down the pike for the 2021 enrollment period that Bolt is working to educate clients on, in that The Cures Act amended the Social Security Act (the Act) to allow all Medicare-eligible individuals with ESRD to enroll in MA plans beginning January 1, 2021.

If you're still unsure and wondering where to begin and what applies to you, Bolt stressed that letting a trusted agent help is the most important thing you can do. She and her team have been in the Medicare field for over 15 years and are licensed in several states and have several local agents that can help clients. With so much to navigate, Bolt reassured that there are no dumb questions to ask, and even encouraged that people ask every question that comes to mind as they go through it.

"Don't wait," she added. "Let us help! This stuff is hard," she shared. "I have engineers, doctors, and lawyers that cannot figure this out, and that makes sense because they are not supposed to, just like I could not figure out law, medicine or how to build a skyscraper without the training and experience. There's no reason why you should you take on something like Medicare on your own."

 

To learn more, visit ssa.gov and medicare.gov, and to learn more about Medicare Misty and her services, call her at 423-240-0794 or visit medicaremisty.com or follow her on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter) (*Medicare Misty Advisors is not affiliated by, or endorsed by any government agency.)

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