The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program helps to offset the rising costs of health care for seniors enrolled in Medicare. The QMB Medicaid card is the same as a regular Medicaid card, and can be combined with Medicare to provide health care at almost no additional cost.
The QMB program was created by the U.S. Congress in 1988 to assist individuals on Medicare who may also qualify for Medicaid. Unlike Medicare, QMB is administered by the state in which an individual lives.
QMB Program Overview
The program pays Medicare premiums (for Parts A & B) that are normally deducted from an individual's social security check, as well as any copayments. It usually does not provide prescription coverage because that is now handled through the Medicare Part D plan.
How to Apply
Any individual who receives Medicare Parts A & B may apply for the QMB Medicaid card through his state's Medicaid office. The person will have to meet certain income eligibility requirements.
How to Use the Medicaid Card
Once a person's application has been approved, she will receive a Medicaid card in the mail. Beneficiaries should keep the card with them at all times, and they will need to present the card along with their Medicare card when they see a doctor.
How the QMB Program Works
States will begin paying Medicare premiums automatically within a few months, and beneficiaries will be reimbursed for premiums they paid out of their social security checks during this period. Health care providers will bill Medicaid for the part it is normally responsible for paying.
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