The MSP is funded by the State Medicaid program. It is also known as the Medicare Buy-In program that helps pay for costs if you are financially limited. The Medicare Savings Program will pay your Part B premium for you each month. This premium is taken out of your Social Security Check on a monthly basis. In certain situations if your income is low enough it will pay for co-payments for Medicare covered services.

To qualify for the MSP as an individual your income needs to be under $1,386 per month and for a couple your income needs to be under $1,872.

If your income is above these levels you may still qualify. If you pay a Supplemental Insurance Premium not including your Medicare premium you can deduct that amount from your income and check the income guidelines. For example if you are an individual with a monthly income of $1,388 monthly and you pay a Supplemental Insurance premium of $150 per month, you would still qualify for the Medicare Savings Program.

What is Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs?

Anyone who has Medicare can get Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some people with limited resources and income also may be able to get Extra Help to pay for the costs-monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. Many people qualify for these big savings and don’t even know it.

To qualify for Extra Help:

  • Your annual monthly income must be limited to $1,538 for an individual and $2,078 for a married couple living together. Even if your monthly income is higher, you still may be able to get some help.
  • Your resources must be limited to $14,100 for an individual or $28,150 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks, and bonds. They do not count your home, car, or any life insurance policy.

What’s the Medicare Open Enrollment Period?

Each year Medicare has an open enrollment period from October 15th-December 7th. This is an opportunity for individuals to review their current Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage to ensure the plan they are enrolled in will continue to meet their needs for following year.

Individuals who would like to obtain information about Medicare plans or compare plans can call the Herkimer County Office for the Aging’s HIICAP program at 315-894-9917. Information can also be found at 1-800-MEDICARE or by visiting