Washington Medicare Plans
Medicare is a federally sponsored health insurance program available to those over the age of 65, as well as to individuals who have certain disabilities. At the state level, however, there exist specific organizations that help beneficiaries better understand the Medicare process, and Medicare recipients may even qualify to receive state subsidies, depending on their circumstances. Consider the following information if you are interested in obtaining Medicare coverage in the state of Washington.
Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) Policies
The state of Washington does not require insurers to sell Medicare supplement insurance policies to people under the age of 65. Some insurance companies may still voluntarily sell Medigap policies to people under 65, but they may cost more than Medigap policies sold to people over 65.
Mini-COBRA Policies (Small Group)
COBRA law applies if you work for a company with greater than 20 employees. However if your employer has fewer than 20 employees, Washington does not currently have a law that replicates COBRA.
Medicare Savings Program In Washington
Washington has four Medicare Savings Programs.
*The following data is from 2016 and is based on federal amounts. These amounts may increase in 2017. If your income and resources are slightly higher, you should still apply, you may qualify for benefits even if your income is higher than the limits listed.
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs): For individuals with a monthly income under $1,010 and couples with monthly income under $1,355, the state pays all premiums for Medicare Part B and all copays and deductibles for Medicare Parts A and B.
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries (SLMBs): For individuals with a monthly income under $1,208 or couples with monthly income under $1,622 a month, the state pays premiums for Medicare Part B.
- Qualified Individuals (QIs): For individuals with a monthly income under $1,357 or couples with monthly income under $1,823, the state pays premiums for Medicare Part B.
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWIs): For individuals with income under $4,045 per month and couples with monthly income under $5,425, the state pays premiums for Medicare Part A.
*Data from Medicare.gov
According to ssa.gov, you should be aware that several States may even disregard all resources for individuals or couples in certain categories.
Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA)
Your local Washington SHIBA program can help you understand your Medicare benefits. Washington SHIBA is a confidential and one-on-one Medicare beneficiary counseling service for Washington residents.
Washington SHIBA provides education, counseling, and information concerning:
- Medicare Parts A and B
- Medicare Advantage Plans – Part C
- Medicare Prescription Drug Plans – Part D
- Medicare Supplement Insurance – Medigap
- Long-term care and payment options
- Healthcare rights and protections
- Low-income assistance programs
Washington SHIBA also provides advocacy for Medicare beneficiaries regarding claim questions and disputes. SHIBA has trained staff and volunteers to provide assistance statewide. Washington SHIBA is partially funded by a grant from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
Low-Income Subsidy (ExtraHelp) for Prescription Drugs
In 2016, you may qualify if you have up to $17,820 in yearly income ($24,030 for a married couple).
Washington residents can consult with one of the many MedicareSolutions.com licensed sales agents to get personal assistance that is specific to your state. Our licensed sales agents can help compare Washington Medicare insurance plans in your area, and provide information to help you find the Washington Medicare insurance plans that best fit your needs and budget.