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On my income I have a really hard time paying all my bills. Is there any help to pay my Medicare Part B premium?

If you are a low-income Medicare participant, the Medicare Saving Program can help pay the cost of your Medicare Part B insurance premium, the money deducted from your Social Security check each month, and at some income levels even help pay the Medicare co-pays and $183 deductible.

Remember that your primary residence (your home) and one automobile are not considered part of your assets. If you have wages the first $65 monthly is excluded and then only 50% of the remaining wages are counted as income. Qualifying for Medicare Savings program will automatically qualify you for Social Security Low-income Subsidy for Prescription Drug plans. Check below to see if you might qualify:

  • Assets limits (Savings, stocks, bonds, CDs, cash value of life insurance policies, rental property value, annuities, etc.): $7,560 per single; $11,340 per couple.
  • Income (Social Security — add back the premium paid for Medicare Part B — and include pensions, interest income, annuities, rental income, wages, etc.): No more than $1,386 monthly per single; no more than $1,872 monthly per couple. 

If you have questions or would like assistance in applying for this program in Yellowstone County, call 259-5212. Other areas, call 1-800-551-3191 for the same assistance.

Your questions on Medicare and Medicaid answered by the local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) an objective, not-for-profit counseling, assistance and advocacy service sponsored by DPHHS of Montana and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Do you have a question about Medicare or Medicaid that you would like answered? Please send your question to SHIP Program c/o Adult Resource Alliance of Yellowstone County, PO Box 20895, Billings, MT 59104 or email