AMAC’s Medicare Tip of the Week: Failed to Pay Your Medicare Premiums…Now What?
Have you fallen behind in paying your Medicare premiums? Watch this quick video to learn ways to save your plan from being canceled.
For help with Medicare plans – or any questions you may have about Medicare – contact AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service at 1-855-696-7535 or click the button below. For more information, keep reading!
Switching banks, falling ill, and forgetting to update your mailing address are some of the most common reasons why people become delinquent in paying their Medicare premiums. Unfortunately, these situations could also leave you uninsured. If you are like many who have found themselves in this predicament, keep reading to learn what you should do now that your payments have fallen behind.
Before panic sets in, be sure to review any letters you have received from your insurance carrier. Plans are required to send a written bill that includes a due date and your past due amount. If your premium continues to go unpaid, you will receive a second written notice that explains the consequences of delinquency, which includes policy termination.
Now, if you missed your due date and have received your second written notice, you may still be in luck. All plans are required to offer at least a 2-month grace period to all members who have fallen behind on their payments. Be sure to contact your carrier as soon as possible to catch up on your payments and avoid disenrollment from your plan.
If you fall outside of your plan’s grace period and fail to contact them, you will likely be disenrolled from your plan. However, Medicare has a “Good Cause” policy which will allow you to request your policy be reinstated if you can prove that you experienced exceptional circumstances that prevented you from making timely payments. To see if you qualify to be re-enrolled using the Good Cause policy, contact your plan provider no later than 60 days of your policy termination date. If you are unable to get your policy reinstated, you may have to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period to pick up coverage.
Keep in mind that if you owe a Part D Late enrollment penalty and fail to pay it, Medicare will instruct your plan to disenroll you. If you have a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan or a Medicare Advantage Plan that includes drug coverage, you could lose your plan.
If you owe the government a Part D-Income Related Monthly Adjustment Amount (Part D-IRMAA) and fail to pay it, Medicare will instruct your plan to disenroll you. According to CMS, a member may be disenrolled from a Medicare Advantage Plan or Employer Group Health Plan if that plan includes their Medicare drug coverage.
There are many things you can do to avoid nonpayment cancellation:
- If you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or Prescription Drug Plan, you can elect to have your premiums taken directly from your Social Security check which is very useful if you travel often, become ill, or make changes to your bank account.
- You can also appoint a secondary person to receive cancellation notices in case you miss them. This can be done by filling out a simple form and sending it back to your carrier.
- Many people find that by creating an online account on their carrier’s portal helps them stay in the know with their policies. Almost all carriers offer this free feature nowadays.
Being in danger of policy termination is overwhelming but staying on top of your insurance is the key to avoiding any mishaps.