Social Security Mistake Could Be Costly

Processing Error Results in Unexpected Insurance Bills

A mistake made in January of 2019 is expected to create unexpected expenses for some seniors covered by Medicare. According to the Social Security website, a processing error resulted in a failure to withhold premium payments for an estimated 250,000 insured individuals.

Unfortunately for the affected individuals, this premium must still be paid. This means that many have already received or will soon be receiving a bill asking for payment of missed premiums from earlier in the year.

About the Medicare Premium Payment Error

For Medicare beneficiaries, premium payments are automatically deducted before social security payments are made. A “processing error” that took place this year means the deductions were never taken.

This error affected those with the Advantage Plan and Prescription Drug Plan, according to Medicare. Unfortunately, the exact details of how the error occurred or exactly how many individuals will suffer have yet to be explained. One Humana representative voiced assumptions that the IT system, which is believed to be 15 years old, could be to blame.

What to Expect if You Are Affected

Those who did not have premium payments deducted from their Social Security in early 2019 should expect to receive a bill asking for full repayment. These bills will be administered by the insurance companies themselves, not Medicare.

This will leave many seniors scrambling to come up with extra funds to cover this unexpected expense. What’s worse, some beneficiaries have experienced cancellation of insurance coverage. Those unable to pay premium bills may soon see their benefits suspended as well.

Ultimately, it’s important that seniors understand that the bills they may receive in the mail in the upcoming weeks are legitimate. With the many scams targeting seniors, it’s easy to assume an unexpected insurance bill should be disregarded, but that’s not the case here. The only guaranteed way to avoid cancellation of insurance coverage is to make timely payment of the balance due.

~ Here’s to Your Financial Health!