Millions Affected by When Premium Deductions Fail
Washington, D.C MAY 23, 2019 -- Dozens of insurance carriers are mobilizing to notify their millions of clients of an error that has occured with Social Security that might affect their insurance policies in coming months.
“This has the potential of causing mass confusion, and we need to do a better job of communicating about what is going on,” said Christopher Westfall, Sr., CEO of the Senior Savings Network, an agency that assists seniors across the country with their Medicare insurance needs. “We have already started receiving calls from our clients wondering if they are affected.” A Youtube video has been created to simplify this notification and explain the options. That video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/TRTqwGVA4kw
According to the communication sent to the members and the insurance agents who serve them, the insurance companies are reporting that Social Security and RailRoad Retirement Benefit recipients who had requested premiums to be deducted from their benefit checks for 2019 plans will need to send payments directly to the insurance company due to a “system issue” with the Social Security Administration that has caused a break in the automated deductions.
This issue does not affect Medicare Supplement insurance plans, as those premiums cannot be deducted from Social Security or Railroad Retirement benefits. It can, however, impact those who have selected deductions for the payments through their Social Security benefits for Part D drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans that have a premium required for plan participation.
All of the insurance carriers have reported that they have submitted new requests for Social Security deductions for affected members, and that this could take up to 90 days to go into effect. Insurance agents are being told that when their Medicare clients request more information about the billing error, affecting potentially millions of Medicare beneficiaries, they should be directed to their respective insurance carrier’s customer service team to check the status of their account.
The insurance carriers have also indicated that they are giving an extended grace period to make the payments necessary to keep the accounts going and, when and if the members receive an invoice to make a payment, they should send that payment directly to the insurance carrier. The carriers have all said that they want to work with the affected accounts to keep them active.
About Senior Savings Network®
The Senior Savings Network® is a licensed insurance agency that helps seniors in 46 states with their Medicare Supplemental insurance. They have an educational Youtube channel on Medicare topics that has more than 1.6 million views. They can be found online at www.SeniorSavingsNetwork.org