Reports from beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) or the Part D Extra Help (Low-Income Subsidy) have recently come in regarding erroneous billing for Medicare premiums. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is deducting the Medicare premiums from some beneficiaries’ monthly social security checks despite their MSP enrollment. This is concerning and is causing unnecessary financial strain on affected beneficiaries with low-incomes. The MSPs cover the cost of the Medicare Part B monthly premium ($174.70 in 2024). And, the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program, which is one of the MSPs, covers both Part A ($505/month in 2024) and Part B premiums for those who don’t qualify for free Part A.
Additionally, reports have come in regarding SSA deducting Part D premiums for those enrolled in the Part D Extra Help, as well as Part D plans sending bills for overdue premiums, or over charging for Part D copays. As the Extra Help covers Part D premiums and caps copays at $4.50 for generics and $11.20 for brand name drugs, these errors may also cause potential financial strain for those reliant on low-income assistance.
Our partners at Justice in Aging are actively monitoring these challenges on a nationwide scale to facilitate a systemic resolution. If you know of affected people enrolled in an MSP or Extra Help, please report it to Justice in Aging at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These problems, especially those related to MSPs, may also be linked to Medicaid unwinding. For more details on how to identify, address, and resolve such issues, refer to JiA’s tip sheet: Common Medicaid Unwinding Issues Impacting Older Adults: Advocacy Opportunities & Practice Tips.