There are multiple tiers of low income classifications under the Medicare system, all of which use the federal poverty level as a base line. At the first tier, an individual or couple's assets and income must fall under 100 percent of the federal poverty level.
The Low-Income Subsidy program, as of 2014, classified this first tier as individuals earning less than $973 per month and couples earning less than $1,311 month. Assets must also be at or below $7,160 for a single person and $10,750 for couples. The next tier of low-income classification falls between 100 percent and 135 percent of the federal poverty level.