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Surprise! Social security may not have paid for your health insurance



<p class = "canvas-atom web-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Many Americans rely on every cent that qu & # 39 they touch Social Security to help them make ends meet in retirement. This is particularly welcome when beneficiaries receive a larger benefit check, as this appears to remove at least some of the pressure on most seniors' budgets. Yet, when these big checks turn out to be too good to be true, as has been the case recently, the fallout can be even more difficult to manage. "Data-reactid =" 11 "> Many Americans rely on every penny of social security to help them, which makes them particularly welcome when beneficiaries get a larger benefit check, as this seems to reduce at least some of the pressure on the budgets of most seniors – to be true, as has happened recently, spillovers can be even more difficult to manage.

At the end of last month, the Social Security Administration (SSA) discovered that she had cheated on her coordination with the Medicare program. As a result, social security recipients received larger checks than they should have been. At present, the federal government warns social security officials that some of them will receive large bills from their Medicare providers, which could put tremendous pressure on the elderly with money shortage for them. know how to fill the gap.

Two older people next to a picture of a social security card on which the Washington dollar bill is written.

Source of the image: Getty Images.

How Social Security and Medicare are supposed to work together

Social Security and Medicare coordinate their two programs in several ways. Many retirees simultaneously apply for Medicare and Social Security, and health insurance registration is automatic for most of those who started receiving social security benefits before the age of 65 years old.

Medicare charges premiums for some of its services, and in general, if you are on Social Security, you can expect your Medicare premium to be deducted directly from your check. For example, if you are entitled to $ 1,200 in monthly benefits and you have to pay a monthly Medicare premium of $ 135.50, you will receive a net payment of $ 1,064.50 from Social Security.

That's what did not go well

The problem that occurred in early 2019 affected hundreds of thousands of social security beneficiaries. The SSA stated that a treatment error that occurred in January had prevented some Medicare Advantage plan members and Part D drug plans from withdrawing their monthly premiums from their social security benefits. As a result, the benefit checks were larger than they would have been if the deductions had been made. In addition, private insurance companies that operate Medicare Advantage and Part D plans have never received payment for required premiums.

The SSA stated that the plans themselves would send invoices for unpaid premiums. He warned that since the problem lasted five months without being detected, the first bill would be bulky and would cover every month of missed premium payments.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services (DHHS) also addressed the problem, stating that participants had rights. Plans must offer their members a grace period to reimburse premiums that have been missed, with the period being at least as long as the billing period.

The size of the problem

DHHS indicated that plan premiums would begin to be levied correctly from social security audits beginning in June or July. This will result in a dramatic reduction in the amount of monthly benefits for the approximately 250,000 participants affected by the error.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "However, the major concern is where retirees will find the money needed to cover the missed premiums for several months.On the one hand, it is true that the checks received by these retirees in early 2019 were much bigger than what they could have received in the past, beneficiaries were able to save the surplus, especially without indicating where it came from or why they were getting it.In addition, because social security payments change regularly in January due to cost of living adjustmentsit is possible that many beneficiaries simply associate the new amount with the typical annual change. "Data-reactid =" 34 "> However, the most important problem is knowing where retirees will find the money needed to cover the several months of premiums On the one hand, it is true that the checks that these retirees received in early 2019 were much larger than they could have received in the past.This does not mean, however, that the beneficiaries were able to save the surplus, especially without more Since Social Security payments change regularly in January due to cost-of-living adjustments, many beneficiaries may simply associate the new amount with the typical annual change.

Why social security is not enough

As difficult as this situation is for those it affects, it is simply the last reason why people who are still in the job market should do everything possible to build a savings nest. -retirement to accompany their social security benefits. Counting solely on monthly program checks can leave you in an untenable situation when such errors occur. For those who have managed to put aside additional savings, the consequences of the federal government's mistake will not be as severe as for those who rely solely on social security for their financial well-being.

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