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Social Security errors may have destroyed Medicare coverage for about 250,000 pensions



If you or a loved one pays Medicare premiums with an automatic deduction from a social security check, some of your insurance coverage may be canceled.

A "treatment failure" led to premiums for Medicare Advantage Plans (Part C) and prescription drug plans (Part D) to go unpaid nationwide for 250,000 retirees – right back to January – according to Social Security and Medicare.

As many as five months of premiums are criminals for some recipients, the agencies say. 19659002] Landlords must be looking for letters from their insurance companies asking for payment ̵

1; letters that can easily be overlooked as junk mail or a scam attempt – which insurance companies notify their customers if the payment lapses.

Retirees must find money to pay the outstanding premiums, the agencies said because social security cannot deduct premiums in the last few months.

Published reports say some recipients have already lost their coverage and it's & # 39; s unclear how many retirees have not yet learned about the error.

Members of the House Roads and Committees wrote a letter to the agencies asking for answers.

"For vulnerable seniors and disabled people living on fixed income, getting a bill for several months of unpaid … premiums can lead to significant and potentially ongoing difficulties," the representatives represented.

The letter said in 2019, premiums for Part D coverage averaged $ 30 per month nationally, while Medicare Advantage plans cost up to $ 200 per month. And on average, retirees receive $ 1,400 a month from social security.

"For anyone living on $ 1,400 a month, any new expense – much less an unexpected $ 180 or $ 500 bill or even $ 1200 or more – can make it harder for them to put food on the table, pay for medical help and hold a roof over your head, "the letter said.

So far, Social Security and Medicare have not answered the letter.

In a note to insurance companies, Jennifer Shapiro, the acting director of the Medicare Plan Payment Group, said insurers must offer payment plans for those who cannot fully repay the premiums.

Plans should also offer enrollees a "deadline" to repay the unpaid premium payments, said Paul Criscione, a certified financial planner with Freedom Capital Management in Colts Neck. "Grace period" should last at least as long as the delay in billing, he said.

"Plans also have the ability not to pursue these outstanding payments," Criscione said.

Beneficiaries who have their premiums charged on a credit card or deducted from a checking account were unaffected.

If you are not sure whether your prizes are current, contact your plan providers and check your social security records.

Have you been Bamboozled? Reach Karin Price Mueller at Bamboozled@NJAdvanceMedia.com . Follow her on Twitter @KPMueller . Find Bamboozled on Facebook. Mueller is also the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com . Get informed and sign up NJMoneyHelp.com s weekly newsletter.
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