Alert ~ Delayed Billing for Medicare Part B Premium Payments in December 2018

Alert ~ Delayed Billing for Medicare Part B Premium Payments in December 2018

We just received word from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that there was a delay in the mailing of the December 2018 Medicare Premium Bills (CMS-500).  Bills are normally mailed by the 10th of each month.  Yet, last month, CMS’ print contractor mailed the Medicare Premium Bills almost a week late, between December 15th and December 17th. Most beneficiaries should have received their bill by December 20th. Beneficiaries who use Medicare Easy Pay to pay their premiums should not be affected as their December premium should have been automatically deducted, as usual, on December 20, 2018.

CMS has assured us that “measures are being taken to prevent beneficiaries who were already at risk of termination from losing their coverage, as a result of the late billing.”  They have asked that we spread the word to beneficiaries already at risk of termination and advise them to make their payment as soon as possible. If any beneficiaries are terminated due to non-payment, they should contact the Social Security Administration for assistance at 1-800-722-1213.   If a beneficiary still has not received their bill, they should call 1-800-Medicare.

Beneficiaries needing further assistance, can contact their local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP). They provide free, individual and unbiased assistance and advocacy on Medicare questions and related health care insurance issues.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.