December 23, 2010

State of Alabama
Press Release: Medicaid

Congress extends Qualifying Individual (QI-1) program through 2011

More than 13,000 Medicare recipients in Alabama received a welcome holiday gift after Congress reauthorized the Qualifying Individual (QI-1) program for another year. Approved by the Senate and House on December 8 and 9, respectively, the action extends the Qualifying Individual (QI-1) program that allows Medicaid to pay the Medicare Part B premium for qualifying low-income individuals through Dec. 31, 2011. President Barack Obama signed the measure December 15.


The program had been in jeopardy because it is funded entirely by federal funds, according to Alabama Medicaid Commissioner Robert D. Church, Jr., CPA. He noted that with current projections suggesting significant state General Fund budget shortfalls in 2011, the state could not afford to pick up the program’s monthly tab of approximately $1.22 million.


The measure also extends the amount available for allocation to the states under this provision through Dec. 31, 2011. The QI-1 program is 100 percent federally funded, but has an annual cap on the amount of money available which limits the number of people who can receive the benefit.  Alabama’s preliminary allotment for FY 2011 is $33 million. 


The QI-1 Program is available to Medicare Part A recipients whose current income does not exceed $1,239 per month for an individual, or $1,660 for a couple and who are not otherwise eligible for Medicaid. Medicare Part B helps to cover medically-necessary services like doctors' services, outpatient care, home health services, and other medical services. Part B also covers some preventive services.


Applications may be submitted by mail to one of the 10 Medicaid district offices throughout the state, or online by going to the Social Security Administration’s website and submitting an application for Extra Help for Prescription Drug Costs. The SSA online application automatically submits to Medicaid the information needed to process the QI-1 application. Links to the paper application and the online application portal are below. The paper form, Form 211 - Application for assistance with Medicare premiums, is available on the Medicaid Agency’s website. – General information -- Social Security and Medicare – Application page – General Information -- Alabama Medicaid

 – Information on applying for the QI-1 program



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