QI - 1 PROGRAM, WHICH PAYS PART B PREMIUM FOR SOME LOW INCOME INDIVIDUALS, EXTENDED THROUGH NOVEMBER 20, 2004


The QI-1 program, which helps some low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay their Part B premium, was extended until November 20, 2004.  This is part of the general continuing resolution (HJ Res. 107) passed by Congress to continue funding federal programs at 2004 levels for two months.

The QI-1 program requires state Medicaid programs to pay the Medicare Part B premium for individuals who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid and who have incomes between 120-135% ($1194.15 - $1729.50 per month) of federal poverty levels.  Countable assets cannot be more than $4,000.00 for an individual and $6,000.00 for a couple.  A few states have no asset test.  The states receive 100% federal money to cover the costs of this benefit, i.e., there is no requirement for a state match.  However, the total amount of money is capped, so that if a state uses up its allotment, it has no further obligation to serve additional applicants for the benefit.

President Bush's fiscal year 2004 budget includes a reauthorization of the QI-1 program for five years.


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