Senators May Let Medicare Qualified Individual (QI) Program Lapse


On Dec. 12, the Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to vote on a bill to fix long-standing problems with Medicare physician payments. The fix may not include a permanent extension of the Medicare Qualified Individual (QI) program which helps over 400,000 low-income beneficiaries (those with incomes of about $14-$15,000) afford their Medicare Part B costs. 


The bill is not expected to include provisions that would pay for QI. The result would be that many poor seniors would have to pay over $1,200 a year in new premiums.  Since Dec. 2002, QI funding has been extended on a year-to-year basis. 


The Leadership Council of Aging Organizations, to which NSCLC is a member, has long advocated for a permanent QI program fix. 


The National Council on Aging is urging advocates to alert Senators about the need to make the QI program permanent. 

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