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Help with Medicare Costs

Medicare costs can add up. There are premiums, copays, coinsurance and other out-of-pocket costs. Help is available for those who qualify to help cover some of these costs. If you have limited income and resources, you might be eligible and you could save thousands per year

We've included links to learn more about each program and how to apply. You also can get help with applying by calling the Senior LinkAge Line at 800-333-2433, Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Medicare Savings Programs

Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) help pay for Medicare Part A and Part B costs. If you’re eligible, your Part B monthly premium will be put back into your Social Security check, so you’ll have more money available to meet your expenses. MSP may also cover other Medicare costs.

  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) covers all Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles, copays, coinsurance and pays both Part A and Part B premiums.
  • Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary Program (previously called Service Limited Medicare Beneficiary or SLMB) pays for the Medicare Part B premium.
  • Qualified Individual (QI) pays for the Medicare Part B premium.
  • Qualified Disable and Working Individual (QDWI) helps pay for Medicare Part A premiums only.
To learn more, including income and asset limits, visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services website. To apply, fill out this application form and send to your local county social services office.

Medicare Part D Extra Help

Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS), which is also known as Extra Help, helps pay for Medicare Part D monthly premiums, deductibles, copays and coinsurance. Everyone who qualifies for LIS will pay:

  • $0 premium for Medicare Benchmark drug plan 
  • $0 deductible 
  • A reduced amount for generic and brand-name drugs

You can apply for Extra Help online on the Social Security website or by calling them at 800-772-1213.


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The Senior LinkAge Line is Minnesota’s federally designated State Health Insurance
Assistance Program (SHIP) and provides free help with all issues related to Medicare.

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