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Get Help Paying Medicare Costs

If you are a Massachusetts resident on Medicare with limited income, you may qualify for help paying your Medicare costs through Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), previously known as MassHealth Buy-In (MHBI).

Table of Contents

The Facts about MSPs

  • MSPs are not insurance plans. They are programs that help lower your Medicare premiums and other healthcare costs, including prescriptions.
  • It is easy to apply! It takes just 5 minutes and you could save thousands of dollars.
  • These programs are run by MassHealth, but you do NOT need to be on MassHealth to apply.

More questions?

Call:

MassHealth Customer Service: (800) 841-2900, TDD/TTY: 711

SHINE counselor:  Call MassOptions at (800) 243-4636, TTY/ASCll (800) 439-2370

or read our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (See Additional Resources below for the FAQs).  

Additional Resources

Do I qualify for Medicare Savings Programs?

  • If you are on Medicare and your income is below the following limits, you are eligible for the Medicare Savings Programs. 
  • As of March 1, 2024, there is no asset limit which means your home and savings will not be considered when you apply.
  • Important: You do NOT have to be on MassHealth to qualify!

New as of March 1, 2024! There is NO asset limit.

You

Your income is at or below

     Single

                      $2,824

    Couple

                      $3,833

How to Apply

The application takes just 5 minutes!

To Apply by Mail

To apply for the Medicare Savings Programs by mail, fill out the application and follow the instructions: English PDF | English Text version | Spanish PDF | Spanish Text version

To Apply Online

If you prefer, you can fill in and submit the Medicare Savings Programs application online using any version of Adobe Acrobat, including the free version of Adobe Reader. (Adobe Reader - English) | (Adobe Reader – Spanish)

Once you have filled in all the required information, you will be able to submit your application electronically.  You must include a valid email address to complete the application. Your email address will be sent to MassHealth but will not be included as part of your MassHealth case information.

Please note that you must complete this application in one sitting. If you are not able to do so, you can print the application, fill it in by hand, and mail or fax it to MassHealth.

Find the online application here: English  | Spanish

Need help filling out an application?

  • Get help filling out your application from a MassHealth Customer Service Representative, available Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM and can be reached at (800) 841-2900, TDD/TTY: 711.
  • Or, schedule an appointment with a SHINE Counselor to get answers to your questions about coverage and benefits. They will help you understand your options and make the decision that’s right for you. To find a SHINE counselor near you, call MassOptions at (800) 243-4636 or find one online.

Types of Medicare Savings Programs

There are two types of Medicare Savings Programs, depending on your income:

Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB)

  • MassHealth pays for the Medicare Part A premium if you have one (most people do not).
  • MassHealth also pays for the Medicare Part B premium and pays for some of the costs of things like copays, deductibles, and/or premiums.
  • Your medical provider is not allowed to bill you for Medicare copays and deductibles. This includes Medicare Advantage Plan providers. However, you can still be charged a pharmacy copay.
  • You are enrolled in Health Safety Net for coverage at acute care hospitals and community health centers.
  • You are enrolled in Medicare Part D Extra Help for help with the costs of prescription drugs.

Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiaries and Qualifying Individuals (SLMB/QI)

  • MassHealth pays for the Medicare Part B premium.
  • You are enrolled in Health Safety Net for coverage at acute care hospitals and community health centers.
  • You are enrolled in Medicare Part D Extra Help for help with the costs of prescription drugs.

Benefits

QMB

SLMB/QI

Pays your Medicare Part A Premium

Yes

No

Pays your Medicare Part B Premium

Yes

Yes

Comes with Health Safety Net (HSN) coverage at acute care hospitals and community health centers (CHCs)

Yes

Yes

Helps you with prescription drug costs by automatically enrolling you in Medicare Part D extra help

Yes

Yes

Pays all costs of your Medicare Part A and Part B covered services like Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.

Yes

No

MassHealth card

Show your Medicare and MassHealth cards so providers know you are in the QMB Program

NA

Whether you are eligible for QMB or SLMB/QI depends on your income.

If you are:

And your monthly income is*

You may be able to get

Single

Below $2,385

QMB

Single

Between $2,386 and $2,824

SLMB/QI

A married couple

Below $3,237

QMB

A married couple

Between $3,238 and $3,833

SLMB/QI

*Income limits change each year on March 1.

If you’re over age 65, you may qualify for both an MSP and MassHealth Standard if

• you have Medicare;

• your income is less than or equal to $2,824 per month as an individual or $3,833 per month as a couple; and

• your assets are worth less than $2,000 for single applicants and $3,000 for married couples.

Please call MassHealth Customer Service at (800) 841-2900, TDD/TTY: 711 to learn more about MassHealth Standard or visit the website here.

For more information:

Download the information on the page: PDF | Text Version

Frequently Asked Questions: PDF | Text

Flyer: PDF

Additional Resources

Flyers, Posters, and Communication Materials for Medicare Savings Programs

Do you work with Medicare beneficiaries? Help us get the word out about MSPs with our communications toolkit. The toolkit includes printable flyers, posters, social media posts, and more

All materials below are available in English and will be translated into Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Haitian Creole, Vietnamese, and Simplified Chinese. Check back if the translation is not yet posted.

Poster: PDF

Flyer: PDF

Sample Social Media Posts and Graphics: PNG

Email Language: PDF | Text

FAQs: PDF | Text

Last updated: April 25, 2024

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