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What is the difference between Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) and Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB)?

September 12, 2016 Law

Both Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) and Specified Low Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) are programs that help needy Seniors or Disabled people with expenses related to Medicare.  Medicare Part B premiums are generally paid by Medicare recipients out of their monthly Social Security checks.  However, QMB and SLMB will pay those premiums so that you don’t have to! QMB also pays Part A premiums, Medicare Co-pays, Medicare Co-insurance and Medicare Deductibles.  Here is the application for both programs in Maryland.  You can qualify for either QMB or SLMB, but not both.  SLMB is for people who have higher income than people who qualify for QMB.  Here are the income limits, resource limits and descriptions of QMB and SLMB.  Although there are also other programs, QMB and SLMB are the most common. 

Tip: If Medicare doesn’t pay for a medical service, for example the cost of an assisted living facility, then QMB won’t pay for it either. You will have to apply for Medicaid or another program to cover the cost. Sometimes you will have to pay for it out of your own pocket, unfortunately.

I have closed my law firm effective 10/21/22. If you believe you are a current client, you are probably mistaken. I am only representing clients in the very last stage of their cases where a decision is about to be rendered and where no action needs to be taken in order to get that decision. I have withdrawn from all other cases. I am no longer representing you and you should have gotten a letter to that effect. For Social Security matters, I advise you call Jenkins, Block & Associates at 410-727-4000 or email at or - for all other matters I have no recommended referral. I do not regularly monitor this email or my phone messages. Requests for former client files should be made in writing to:

Emmett B. Irwin
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Pikesville, MD 21208