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Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program

What are Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) and Qualified Individuals (QI) programs?

The Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program is a Medicare Savings Program (MSP) that pays for an enrollee’s Medicare Part B premiums. MSPs are federal programs that are administered by Medicaid in each state.

As of 2020, most Medicare beneficiaries pay $144.90 a month for Part B. SLMB enrollees no longer have this amount deducted from their Social Security benefit – amounting to an annual increase of over $1,738. 

Individuals who are approved for SLMB will receive three months of retroactive benefits.

It can take two to three months between being approved for MSP benefits and the time Part B premiums are no longer deducted from Social Security income. Applicants should receive a one-time deposit for premiums that were withheld after they were enrolled in the program, and a payment for their retroactive benefits.

Unlike the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program, SLMB does not pay for Parts A and B cost sharing (e.g. deductibles, co-pays and coinsurance) or for Part A premiums (if an enrollee owes them). 

SLMB enrollees automatically receive Extra Help – a federal program that lowers prescription drug costs under Part D.