Medicare Premium Billing and EZ Pay Experiences

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SpideyIndexer
Posts: 395
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:13 pm

Medicare Premium Billing and EZ Pay Experiences

Post by SpideyIndexer » Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:55 pm

I'm fairly new to this process. Some experiences:

1. It is amazing that the billings for premiums are so opaque. I first received one bill for the 3 months of the minimum part B premium, with the amount in the Part B column and described as for a 3 month period. After paying the first bill, I signed up for EZ pay.

2. The second bill is listed as for a single one month period, with an even larger amount in the part B premium column. It appears to be the (disputed) part B IRMAA amount being charged me. Why this is listed as for a one month period is bizarre. It sure would be helpful if CMS would be more informative about the charges. Actually in the heading of this bill was stated that "THIS IS NOT A BILL" because I signed up for EZ pay.

3. I received a letter several days past the due date for statement 2 above saying the bank was unable to find my account for EZ pay. In the letter, CMS requests I consult with my bank about this. Did so, and the bank could not help.

4. I received a third bill another week later. It states they received my payment for statement 2 about 2 weeks prior. Interestingly it was not deducted from my account. This one does not have the "THIS IS NOT A BILL" verbage so apparently EZ pay was turned off by then. On this bill is a strange amount for one month of coverage in the part B column. By fiddling with the math, it appears to be equal to the "received" (but apparently not) paid IRMAA amount for my first 3 months plus one month of full part B premium (basic + IRMAA.) It sure would have been helpful for a bill or statement that made this clear, as this was a very puzzling amount. This bill also included 4 months of part D IRMAA.

Comments and questions:

I'd like to get onto EZ pay to ensure no payments are missed, so should I reapply to EZ pay? I did NOT have a financial institution representative sign the EZ pay form. (The form instructions do not mention this part of the field and I filled in my name.) Could that have caused EZ pay to be rejected by the bank?

It's confusing that I was initially billed for a quarter, then billed for one additional month + back payments due to the EZ pay not going thru.

It's strange the CMS told me that the 2nd amount was received when my account was not debited. Also I'm unclear how or if CMS verifies the account as being valid before deciding not to bill me for my premiums.

Current Medicare billings or statements are extremely unclear! Is there an online account where one go for detailed information about the premium charges?

Tangential to the above, I sent in an SSA-44. The SSA by letter rejecting my request for a new decision for lower premiums "because (my) MAGI did not change enough...." I had reduced hours in 2017 and again in 2018 and my MAGI clearly dropped one tier in 2017 and another tier in 2018. Should I appeal over the phone and/or in person? It is complicated as I had a one-time event in 2016, though I have been told that the SSA does not consider these, but rather looks at subsequent years MAGI as long as the life-change event has taken place.

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