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Understanding Medicare

ServiceLink Resource Centers' Medicare specialists are trained and certified under the national State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP

State Health Insurance Assistance Program

Conveniently located at every community-based offices in every county of the State,  SHIP-Medicare Specialists provide:

  • Free, confidential, and unbiased health insurance counseling.
  • Assistance in applying for cost savings programs to reduce your Medicare out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Help comparing insurance plan options so you can find the most cost effective Medicare Prescription Drug plan based on your individual prescription needs.
  • Help in analyzing other Medicare programs such as Medicare Supplements and Medicare Advantage Health plans.
  • Trainings and self-study guides  so you can do your own research on Medicare benefits and other program options.
  • A lending library of Medicare publications, senior-related resources and caregiver information.
  • Unique enrichment opportunities by becoming a Volunteer with the SHIP program to help people with Medicare in your community.

ServiceLink Resource Centers can help answer your questions:

  • Why did Medicare deny services?
  • How do I read my Medicare Beneficiary Notice?
  • Does Medicare pay for preventive and screening services?
  • How can I decide how to choose a Medicare Supplement insurance?
  • When do I enroll in Part B, if I’m still working?
  • What are the advantages of Medicare Advantage Health Plans?

ServiceLink Resource Centers can help answer your questions and help you lower your Medicare expenses:

Medicare Saving Programs (or Buy-Ins) can save you money on your Medicare Part B (medical) expenses.

Medicare Savings Program Income & Resource Limits

Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB)
Monthly Gross Income Limits based on 100% of Federal Poverty Levels
Pays for Part A & Part B premium, Deductibles, coinsurance and copayments

$1,061 – Individual $1,430 – Couple

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB 120)
Monthly Gross Income Limits based on 120% of Federal Poverty Levels
Pays for Part B premium. Can go three months retroactive

$1,269 – Individual $1,711 – Couple

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMB 135)
Monthly Gross Income Limits based on 135% of Federal Poverty Level
Pays for Part B premium. Cannot have Medicaid with a spenddown and SLMB 135%, must choose one

$1,426 – Individual $1,923 – Couple

Resource/Asset Limits for all MSP’s are:
$7,730– Individual $11,600 – Couple

Countable resources include: money in checking or savings accounts, stocks, bonds, CD’s, IRA’s, cash. They do not include your home, one car, burial plot, up to $1,500 for burial expenses if you have put that money aside, furniture, jewelry, other household and personal items.

"Extra Help” or the Low Income Subsidy saves you money on prescription costs and monthly premiums under the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug program.  For 2019 the eligibility requirements are:

  • Gross montly income is less than $1,561 for an individual, or $2,144 for a married couple living together
  • Assets or resources are less than $14,390 for an individual, or $28,720 for a married couple living together

Income and asset limits increase slightly every year.

Call ServiceLink at 1-866-634-9412 to see if you, a family member, or friend could qualify for these Medicare cost saving programs.

If you would like to contact the Medicare Specialist in your area, click on email address next to the county name below:

Please note:
Protect your private information. Do not send your personal information, date of birth, Medicare or Social Security number in your email message.

Additional Resources

  • Medicare & the Marketplace – Special Alert
    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a time-limited opportunity for people enrolled in Marketplace plans, who should have enrolled in Medicare Part B when they first turned 65.
  • Medicare Facility Quality of Care Complaints


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ServiceLink Resource Center
Toll Free Number 1-866-634-9412