Why Is Social Security Deducting Premiums For Medicare When My Son Gets Medicaid?
Q: My 40-year old son is disabled with cerebral palsy and lives with me. He was receiving a $721 a month SSI payment and Medicaid. When my ex-husband turned 66 and took Social Security, I received a letter saying that instead of SSI my son would receive Social Security disability insurance payments based on his father's record instead. My son's new Social Security disability benefit is $743.10 per month, but I received a letter saying that he would be starting on Medicare Part B and $104.90 per month would be deducted from his Social Security leaving him with just $638.10. When I called Medicaid I learned he's still covered by Medicaid. Why is Social Security deducting the premium for Part B when he has Medicaid?
A: If your son's sole income is his Social Security disability payment, he may qualify for a special Medicare Savings Program that would cover the full cost of his Part B premium. In fact he may qualify for the highest tier of coverage as a "Qualified Medicare Beneficiary" (QMB). In most states beneficiaries must have an income at or below full poverty level -- $11,670 or $972.50 per month for individuals in 2014. In addition, his assets must be less than $7,160.
If qualified, your state Medicaid program will pay the Medicare Part A and Part B premiums, deductibles and co-insurance. There are two lower tiers of Medicare Savings Programs that help with the Part B premiums of individuals with incomes up to 135% of the federal poverty level, or incomes as high as $1,331 for individuals.
You must apply for the program through your Medicaid office. Double-check with your local office and say that you want to apply for a Medicare Savings Program to cover the Part B premium for your son. If you qualify, your state Medicaid office will take care of the problem and your son should get a refund for any deductions of his Medicare Part B premium.