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IMPORTANT INFORMATION – PLEASE SHARE:
NOTE: THIS DOES NOT INVOLVE MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT PREMIUMS AT ALL.
The insurance carriers that deal with Part D (Medicare drug plans) and Medicare Advantage plans have notified their respective agents that Social Security has informed the carriers of a problem with automated deductions for plan premiums.
This affects those on Medicare who have a Part D drug plan or an Advantage plan that has premiums withheld from their Social Security direct deposit. According to the carrier communications, ALL SENIORS in this situation are affected and will need to contact their respective Part D or Advantage Plan carriers if premiums are automatically deducted.
Per their communication, the automated deductions stopped in or around February, 2019 and the accounts are in a past due status. Medicare recipients in this situation should be receiving correspondence from their insurance carriers on how to make their account whole again, and they are advised to pay close attention to the communication coming by mail.
To be safe, you can call your Part D or Medicare Advantage carrier to check on the current status of your account to make sure it does not lapse for a lack of payment. The carriers have all indicated that they will be working with the beneficiaries to make sure the accounts can get corrected.
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"Hi. If you're on Medicare and you have a Part D drug plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan and those premiums are being taken out of your Social Security or your Railroad Retirement check automatically, this video is for you.
I'm going to ask that you share this video with anyone else that you know that's on Medicare. If they're having premiums deducted out of their Social Security check to pay for their Part D drug plan, which most people are, this is a situation that we were just made aware of by Social Security this past week. We're in the middle of May 2019, as I make this video.
Communication about this situation is going out by the carriers over the next two weeks and it's critical that everyone looks at the letter they are going to get. Typically, people throw away letters when they think it's junk mail or something they didn't order. This will be a letter coming from your insurance carrier. Again, your Part D drug plan or your Medicare Advantage provider if you're having premiums deducted from your Social Security check.
Here's some of the text of the letter. Action is required on your part. This is not just for information only. There is something you really need to do. It says action required by members who have requested to have their premiums withheld by Social Security in 2019.
This letter, from one of the carriers, and all the letters are going out from all the carriers, but it says, we want to notify you of an issue affecting Medicare members who have elected to pay their plan premiums from Social Security or a Railroad Retirement check. Normally, members select this premium payment option, Social Security will withdraw the funds from the member's check in order to cover the plan premiums for the Part D or the Medicare Advantage plan.
Unfortunately, due to a Social Security system issue this did not occur for two or more months starting back in February 1, 2019. This issue affected all carriers. All of them. Although the system issue is now fixed, Social Security cannot retroactively go back and deduct premiums from members' checks when they failed to deduct them before. And as you'll see later, they can not catch up either and they can not automatically restart the automatic premium withdrawals.
So, this is the critical part that you need to pay attention to. What do members need to do? Because these members now have technically past due accounts, everybody that's had everything withdrawn from Social Security to pay that, and if people don't often look at their Social Security deductions they may not know this stopped and something's missing there.
Their premium payment method has now been changed, this is one particular carrier and I'm sure this is happening with the others, has now been changed from automatic withdrawals now to direct billing. This means members now need to pay any past due premiums, premium amounts to the carrier directly. Members will receive a letter explaining what happened and what they need to do later this month.