- Medicare savings programs are available to help cover Medicare Part A and Part B costs.
- The Medicare Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) program helps cover the Medicare Part A premium.
- Individuals who qualify for this program include low-income, working, disabled beneficiaries who are under the age of 65.
- Qualifying individuals can apply for the Medicare QDWI program through their state’s local health insurance office.
Medicare beneficiaries are responsible for a variety of out-of-pocket costs, from monthly premiums to yearly deductibles and more. In some cases, Medicare costs can place a huge financial burden on the beneficiary.
Medicare savings programs exist to help alleviate the costs associated with some of these Medicare plans. The Medicare Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) program is a Medicare savings program that helps cover Medicare Part A premium costs.
In this article, we’ll explore what the Medicare QDWI program is, who qualifies for this program, and how to apply.
Medicare savings programs are state-funded programs that offer financial assistance to low-income Medicare beneficiaries. There are four different types of Medicare savings programs that help pay Medicare costs, such as premiums, deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
- The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program helps pay for Medicare Part A premiums, Medicare Part B premiums, and deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments.
- The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program helps pays for Medicare Part B premiums.
- The Qualifying Individual (QI) program helps pay for Medicare Part B premiums.
- The Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) program helps pay for Medicare Part A premiums.
The Medicare QDWI program pairs with Medicare Part A to help pay Part A premiums for certain individuals under 65 who don’t qualify for premium-free Part A.
Medicare consists of various parts that offer different coverage for a variety of medical needs. Here’s a quick breakdown of how the Medicare QDWI program applies to the different parts of Medicare.
Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It covers inpatient hospital stays, home health care services, short-term skilled nursing facility services, and end of life hospice care.
When you are enrolled in Medicare Part A, you pay a monthly premium for your coverage. The Medicare QDWI program helps pay for this monthly Part A premium cost.
Medicare Part B is medical insurance. It covers any services related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of medical conditions.
When you are enrolled in Medicare Part B, you also pay a monthly premium for your coverage. However, the Medicare QDWI program does not apply to the Medicare Part B premium.
For help with Medicare Part B costs, you should apply for the Medicare QMB program, Medicare SLMB program, or Medicare QI program.
Part C (Medicare Advantage)
Medicare Part C is Medicare Advantage. It is an insurance option, offered by private insurance companies, that covers original Medicare parts A and B services. Most Medicare Part C plans also cover prescription drugs (Part D), as well as vision, dental, and hearing services.
When you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, you pay a monthly premium for your Medicare Part A coverage. The Medicare QDWI program will help pay for this cost.
As mentioned above, your Medicare Part B premium and any other Advantage plan costs are not covered by the Medicare QDWI program. If you need help with Part B costs, you will need to apply for the programs mentioned above.
Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. It is an original Medicare add-on that helps cover the cost of the prescription drugs you take.
Although there is a monthly premium associated with most Medicare prescription drug plans, the Medicare QDWI program does not cover it.
Medicare Supplement (Medigap)
Medigap is supplemental Medicare insurance. It is an original Medicare add-on that helps cover some of the out-of-pocket costs associated with your plans.
The Medicare QDWI program does not help cover any of your Medigap plan premiums. It also does not conflict with any Medigap plans either, as there are no Medigap plans that currently cover the Part A premium.
To qualify for the Medicare QDWI program, you must be enrolled in Medicare Part A. Even if you are not currently enrolled in Part A, you can also qualify for Medicare QDWI if you are eligible to enroll in Part A. Eligibility requirements for Medicare QDWI programs are the same state to state.
You are eligible to enroll in the Medicare QDWI program in your state if:
- You are a working disabled person under the age of 65.
- You returned to work and lost your premium-free Medicare Part A.
- You currently receive no medical assistance from your state.
You must also meet the income requirements to enroll in your state’s Medicare QDWI program, which include:
- an individual monthly income of $4,339 or less in 2020
- an individual resources limit of $4,000
- a married couple monthly income of $5,833 or less in 2020
- a married couple resources limit of $6,000
The “resources” mentioned above include any checking accounts, savings accounts, stocks, and bonds, minus up to $1,500 you have set aside for burial expenses.
To enroll in the Medicare QDWI program, you must fill out an application through the Medicare program in your state.
In some states, you may be allowed to fill out an application online through your state’s Department of Insurance website. In other states, you are required to visit your local Department of Social Services.
Finally, if you are having trouble finding out how to apply to your state’s Medicare QDWI program, you can call Medicare directly at 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).
- Working Medicare beneficiaries who have trouble meeting monthly Part A premium costs may be eligible to enroll in the Medicare QDWI program.
- Eligible individuals include those who are under age 65, disabled, still working, and meet low-income requirements.
- You must enroll in the Medicare QDWI program through your state, so visit your local Medicare or Social Services office for more information about how to apply.
- For help with other Medicare costs, such as the Part B premium, consider enrolling in one of the other Medicare savings programs in your state.
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