En español | Medicare calls the system Easy Pay because it lets beneficiaries have their monthly Part B premiums deducted from their bank accounts. But last month, 411,000 enrollees discovered that they'd paid two premiums, not one.
Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said that the overpayments were the result of a “process error” and that as of Sept. 29 all the money that was overpaid Sept. 20 had been returned to beneficiaries’ bank accounts.
For most beneficiaries, monthly Part B premiums are $135.50 this year, but individuals with high incomes could have to pay up to $460.50 a month.
If you use the Easy Pay system, make sure to check that your bank statement shows that you paid only one premium last month. Medicare actually bills its beneficiaries in advance, so the payment made Sept. 20 is for the October premium.
It's probably a good idea in the future to make sure your Medicare payments are correct. This is the second time this year that a government error has affected beneficiaries. In June, about a quarter-million Medicare beneficiaries discovered that the Social Security Administration had not deducted the monthly premiums for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans from their retirement benefits and did not send the money to the private insurance companies that run those plans.
Premiums for most Medicare recipients are deducted from their Social Security deposits. Otherwise, Medicare beneficiares have four methods to pay their bill:
- Pay online by credit card or debit card at mymedicare.gov.
- Pay directly from your savings or checking account by using your bank's online bill-paying service. Medicare can tell you what information you need to give to your bank.
- Pay through Easy Pay.
- Mail your payment to Medicare by check or money order. Include your payment coupon and send the money to: Medicare Premium Collection Center, P.O. Box 790355, St. Louis, MO 63179-0355.