The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Medicare Savings Program Expansion eff Jan 1, 2020

Date: 
01/07/2020
Author: 
EOHHS

There are 3 Medicare Savings Programs (MSP/Buy-In): the Senior Buy-In also called QMB that pays for Medicare Pt B premiums ($144.60 in 2020) and cost-sharing for Medicare Parts A & B, and the Buy-In programs also called SLMB or QI that only cover the Medicare Part B premiums. (Despite the name "Senior" Buy-In, none of the programs have age restrictions). Effective Jan. 1, 2020 higher income & assets rules apply to the MSP/Buy-In. Medicare recipients can apply for the MSP/Buy-In programs through a simplified application form that will only determine eligibility for MSP/Buy-In not for any other MassHealth program or HSN. OR they can use the longer SACA-2 application form to apply for MassHealth, HSN and MSP; individuals using the SACA-2 who are not eligible for full MassHealth may qualify for both MSP-Buy-In and HSN. Why care about HSN? HSN can help with Medicare cost-sharing for Parts A & B at acute hospitals and CHCs for people who only qualify for the Buy-In (SLMB, QI) which pays the the Part B premium but doesn't help with Medicare cost-sharing. People who qualify for MSP/Buy-In are not subject to Part B late enrollment penalties and are automatically eligible for "extra help" to lower the costs of Medicare drug coverage. 

The new MSP/Buy-in Only application form is now posted online in Eng & SP & large print. https://www.mass.gov/lists/applications-to-become-a-masshealth-member
The amended Buy-In & Senior Buy-In Regs at 130 CMR 519.010 & 519.011 eff Jan 1, 2020 are also posted on the MassHealth website.
An Eligibility Operations Memo 20-03 dated Jan. 2020 is attached.
 
Attached are outreach flyers in Eng & SP. More languages are at the website linked below. . Note-these flyers have been updated to show the Jan 2020 asset limits; income limits will be adjusted on  Mar 1, 2020 to reflect the 2020 adjustment to the federal poverty levels.
 
UPDATE: GO TO WEBSITE (link below) for full Outreach Toolkit developed by Elder Affairs & MassHealth including flyers & brochures in multiple languages, sample letters and articles & link to MSP-only application form

 

 

 

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