Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

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Newaygo
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:25 am

Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by Newaygo » Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:43 pm

We pay our quarterly Medicare premiums using our bank’s “bill pay” function. It has worked well as the payments are ACH and are credited by Medicare within a day. In May, I paid the Medicare premiums. My payment went as an ACH payment. My wife’s was sent to Medicare as a paper check. The check was supposed to be delivered May 11. The check was finally deposited by Medicare on July 14. We called the bank and they told us that “bill pay” was run by Fiserv and at times they will change from ACH to paper check payments based upon some proprietary set of parameters in agreement with the vendor (Medicare in this case). The bank could not provide any logic to the decision to switch to ineffective paper checks and manual processing. Of course, my wife got a dunning notice from Medicare.

Has anyone experienced this? Any thoughts? This makes no sense. I thought that the bank was joking.

RudyS
Posts: 1906
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by RudyS » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:01 pm

We simply have our medicare premiums deducted from our social security "checks." Are you sending the premiums from your bank due to having delayed SS past 65?

Topic Author
Newaygo
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:25 am

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by Newaygo » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:16 pm

Yes, we have delayed SS.

fourwheelcycle
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Joined: Sun May 25, 2014 5:55 pm

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by fourwheelcycle » Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:19 pm

RudyS wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 9:01 pm
We simply have our medicare premiums deducted from our social security "checks." Are you sending the premiums from your bank due to having delayed SS past 65?
We just went on Medicare Part B for the first time on July 1, after my wife finally retired at 71 on June 30. SS has advised us our Part B premiums, and our almost-max Part B IRMAA payments, and my Part D premium and IRMAA, will be deducted from our SS payments, which are already set up for electronic deposit to our bank account. The first deductions will hit in August. I can't wait to see if it all works out correctly, and to see how much smaller our SS payments will be.

chemocean
Posts: 214
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:45 pm

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by chemocean » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:07 am

Another alternative:
My wife and I are Medicare B, but not on SS yet. We used to send in the paper stub with our signatures for charging to our credit card for the quarterly payments (to get the rewards points) at no additional cost.
This year for the first time, you can go onto your Medicare online account and pay by credit card.
This change may be the reason why Medicare is discouraging other forms of payment.

sport
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by sport » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:45 am

DW gets a social security benefit that is smaller than her medicare premium. So, her entire SS benefit goes to medicare and they send a bill once a year for the balance. The bill directs us to pay by mailing a check. Our bank bill pay specifies it cannot be used for taxes. So, we mail a paper check once a year.

Big Dog
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Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2015 4:12 pm

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by Big Dog » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:00 pm

Newaygo wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:43 pm
We pay our quarterly Medicare premiums using our bank’s “bill pay” function. It has worked well as the payments are ACH and are credited by Medicare within a day. In May, I paid the Medicare premiums. My payment went as an ACH payment. My wife’s was sent to Medicare as a paper check. The check was supposed to be delivered May 11. The check was finally deposited by Medicare on July 14. We called the bank and they told us that “bill pay” was run by Fiserv and at times they will change from ACH to paper check payments based upon some proprietary set of parameters in agreement with the vendor (Medicare in this case). The bank could not provide any logic to the decision to switch to ineffective paper checks and manual processing. Of course, my wife got a dunning notice from Medicare.

Has anyone experienced this? Any thoughts? This makes no sense. I thought that the bank was joking.
sounds to me its an issue with your bank's online bill paying service. That said, a paper check should not take 8 weeks. Something is screwed up somewhere. Before I was claiming SS, I used to pay Medicare quarterly using a credit card (for points), and it used to only take a week or so after mailing for the payment to get charged to my cc.

But with COVID, perhaps no one is 'home' opening the mail. (Why SS is not an essential service is beyond me.)

clip651
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Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by clip651 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:51 pm

Instead of pushing from your bank to Medicare, you can have Medicare pull from your bank. They call it Medicare Easy Pay.

Details here, as well as other payment options:
https://www.medicare.gov/forms-help-res ... ll-cms-500

After having issues with the bank sending paper checks (pre-Covid), we set up Easy Pay for my parent, and it has worked OK. Well, except for one month when they debited twice (widespread problem). Our bank credited it back quickly, Medicare credited it slowly, and eventually it all evened out.

In our case, we use a separate account that is used for very little else, so it's easy to glance at the account and see if there has been a consistent one payment per month as there should be. But you could use any account you wish.

best wishes,
cj

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Watty
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Re: Medicare Premium Switched From ACH to Paper Check

Post by Watty » Sat Aug 01, 2020 2:10 pm

Newaygo wrote:
Fri Jul 31, 2020 8:43 pm
We called the bank and they told us that “bill pay” was run by Fiserv and at times they will change from ACH to paper check payments based upon some proprietary set of parameters in agreement with the vendor (Medicare in this case). The bank could not provide any logic to the decision to switch to ineffective paper checks and manual processing.
Retired computer programmer here.

If this was a one time occurrence then the likely reason was that the ACH failed for one reason or another, including human error. When that happens they likely just reprocess that batch as a paper check to get it out of the door.

With the pandemic they may also have had people starting to work from at home and the disruption to their routine may have caused problems. There could also have been security concerns with letting someone working from home generate ACH transactions where the money could quickly disappear if someone changed a few routing and account numbers.

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