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Can I use a premium tax credit to help pay for my Medicare coverage?

No. Premium tax credits – also called premium subsidies – are designed to help people within a certain income range afford to get coverage through the health insurance exchange/marketplace. These subsidies cannot be used towards health plans that are not sold through the exchange, such as employer-sponsored coverage, plans purchased directly from an insurer, and the various types of Medicare coverage. Thus, no matter what your income, you will not be able to use a premium tax credit towards your Medicare expenses.

If you are having trouble affording Medicare coverage, there are resources out there that can help. For example, if you meet certain resource and income requirements, you can receive Extra Help from Medicare. This program covers some of the costs of Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage), including premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. In 2019, Extra Help recipients will pay no more than $3.40 for each generic drug and $8.50 for each brand-name drug. You should qualify for Extra Help automatically if you have full Medicaid coverage, receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or get help with your Part B premiums from your state Medicaid program through a Medicare Savings Program. Many states also offer local programs that can help lower-income residents pay premiums and other costs associated with Medicare coverage. You can learn more about programs like these by contacting your local Medicaid office or your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

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Can I supplement my Original Medicare coverage with an exchange plan instead of Medigap?

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