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Dual-Eligible Medicare Beneficiaries

Provider Type

  • Physicians (does not apply to Cal MediConnect)
  • Participating Physician Groups (PPG)
  • Hospitals
  • Ancillary

Full-Benefit Dual-Eligibles

Full-benefit dual-eligible beneficiaries include those individuals who have coverage under both Medicare and Medi-Cal. In accordance with Medicare guidelines, dual-eligible beneficiaries do not have coverage and access to all approved U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) prescription medications and must enroll in a qualified Medicare prescription drug plan to receive prescription medication coverage. Dual-eligible beneficiaries automatically qualify for extra assistance and do not need to apply separately for the assistance.

Monthly prescription drug plan premiums, annual deductible and prescription drug copayment requirements depend on the beneficiary's annual income and resources, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines. Refer to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website at www.cms.gov for additional information regarding prescription drug copayments.

Beneficiaries with full-benefit dual-eligible status may voluntarily choose to enroll in a Cal MediConnect Medicare-Medi-Cal plan, another Medicare/Medicaid Plan (MMP), a Medicare Part D plan, another Medicare Advantage (MA) health plan that offers prescription coverage, or a standalone prescription drug plan. Beneficiaries who do not enroll in a qualified Medicare prescription drug program are automatically enrolled in one to ensure there is no loss of prescription medication coverage. Full-benefit dual-eligible beneficiaries enrolled in the plan are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug program offered by the same MA organization. The CMS facilitates the enrollment.

Full-benefit dual-eligible beneficiaries may switch plans at any time.

Full-Subsidy Eligible Beneficiaries and Enrollment

Other individuals who are full-subsidy eligible beneficiaries who may receive assistance include:

  • Recipients of Medicare and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) only.
  • Recipients of Medicare savings programs (MSPs), such as qualified Medicare beneficiaries (QMBs-only), specified low-income Medicare beneficiaries (SLMBs-only) or Qualifying Individuals (QI).

MSP recipients receive additional assistance from the beneficiary's state of residence, which pays for Medicare premiums and/or cost-sharing.

The full-subsidy eligibles listed above automatically qualify for extra assistance and do not need to apply separately. These beneficiaries generally have slightly higher incomes than full-benefit dual-eligible beneficiaries, and Medicaid pays for cost-sharing associated with Medicare, including member premiums.

Low-Income Subsidy Eligibles

Beneficiaries with limited income and resources who do not fall into one of the subsidies described above may still qualify for assistance in paying for Medicare premiums and/or cost-sharing. These beneficiaries must apply for the low-income subsidy (LIS). Beneficiaries may apply for LIS by contacting the Social Security Administration or the state Medicaid office. Generally, the guidelines apply to incomes less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) and limited assets. The type of income considered is based on the rules of the SSI program. Monthly prescription drug plan premium, annual deductible and prescription medication copayments depend on the beneficiary's annual income and resources, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Poverty Guidelines. Refer to the CMS website at www.cms.gov for additional information regarding prescription medication copayments.

Beneficiaries with full-benefit dual-eligible status may voluntarily choose to enroll in a Health Net Cal MediConnect Medicare-Medi-Cal plan, another Medicare/Medicaid plan (MMP), a Health Net Medicare Part D plan, another health plan that offers prescription coverage, or a standalone prescription drug plan. Beneficiaries who do not enroll in a qualified Medicare prescription drug program are automatically enrolled in one to ensure there is no loss of prescription medication coverage. Full-benefit dual-eligible beneficiaries enrolled in the plan are enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug program offered by the same MA organization. CMS facilitates the enrollment.

Full-benefit dual-eligible beneficiaries may switch plans at any time.

Last Updated: 10/30/2019