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Action required by members who requested to have their premiums withheld by SSA/RRB in 2019!

We want to notify you about an issue affecting all Medicare members who elected to pay plan premiums from their Social Security Administration (SSA) or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) check.

 

Background

Normally, when members select this premium payment option, the SSA/RRB withholds funds from members’ SSA/RRB checks to cover their plan premiums.

Unfortunately, due to a system issue, this did not occur for two or more months starting February 1, 2019. This issue affected all carriers. Although the system issue is now fixed, the SSA/RRB cannot retroactively deduct premium payments from members’ checks.

 

What do members need to do?

Because these members now have past-due accounts, their premium payment method has changed to direct billing, effective February 1, 2019. This means they now need to pay any past-due premium amounts to the carrier directly.

 

Member communication

Members should receive a letter explaining what happened from their carrier and what they need to do.

 

What happens next?

  • Please explain to your clients that SSA will only deduct future premiums from their Social Security check as of the effective date noted in their approval letter, so any balances owed up until that effective date must be paid to the carrier directly. Members need to pay premiums directly to them for any months the SSA or RRB doesn’t cover.
  • While these members are not currently at-risk for termination due to nonpayment, they do need to begin making payments to ensure their plan does not face termination for nonpayment in the future.

If you have any questions, comments, or need help with any client billing issues please let our expert agent advocates know, agentsupport@smsteam.net or (800) 689-2800.