Changes to Medicare Effective in 2010
Medicare Savings Programs
The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA), signed into law on July 15, 2008, creates important changes and opportunities for Medicare beneficiaries, particularly those who are low-income. The following MIPPA changes take effect Jan. 1, 2010.
The resource or asset limits for Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) are to be increased to match the resource limits for the low-income subsidy. MSPs help pay Medicare Part A and/or Part B monthly premiums. Some MSPs will also pay Medicare Part A and/or Part B deductibles and coinsurance. These programs include Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB), and Qualified Individual (QI).
Federal Poverty Level
Single Monthly Income
Couple Monthly Income
|QMB ||100% ||$923 ||$1235 |
|SLMB ||120% ||$1103 ||$1477 |
|QI ||135% ||$1239 ||$1660 |
Resource Limit for all programs: $8100 $12910
Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS)
MIPPA changes two LIS eligibility limitations:
- Cash value life insurance is no longer a countable asset or resource. Applicants no longer need to report the cash value of their life insurance policies.
- In-kind support and maintenance is no longer a countable asset or resource as well. Applicants no longer have to report help from family or friends as income.
- In addition, MIPPA eliminates the late enrollment penalty for all LIS-eligible applicants effective Jan. 1, 2009.
Medicare Mental Health Benefits
MIPPA reduces coinsurance amounts for Medicare's outpatient psychiatric services for the treatment of mental, psychoneurotic and personality disorders. Starting Jan. 1, 2010, coinsurance amounts will decrease incrementally from 50% in 2009, 45% in 2010, 45% in 2011, 40% in 2012, 35% in 2013 and 20% in 2014.