Paying Medicare premiums presents fewer difficulties since the introduction of Easy Pay. The system takes care of monthly payments automatically, which may provide a person with peace of mind regarding their healthcare coverage.
Medicare Easy Pay is a program that aims to provide a more convenient way for a person to pay their Medicare premiums.
The system is free to use and allows scheduled, automatic monthly payments directly from an individual’s savings or checking account.
This article will look at the Easy Pay system in more detail, including the benefits and how to set up regular payments.
We may use a few terms in this piece that can be helpful to understand when selecting the best insurance plan:
- Deductible: This is an annual amount that a person must spend out of pocket within a certain time period before an insurer starts to fund their treatments.
- Coinsurance: This is a percentage of a treatment cost that a person will need to self-fund. For Medicare Part B, this comes to 20%.
- Copayment: This is a fixed dollar amount that an insured person pays when receiving certain treatments. For Medicare, this usually applies to prescription drugs.
Medicare Easy Pay is a program that allows people to make an automatic recurring payment of their monthly premiums.
Easy Pay is free-of-charge and available to those with original Medicare Part A or Part B plans.
The majority of people will not need to pay the Medicare Part A premium. Anyone who has worked and paid Medicare taxes for 40 quarters or more over their lifetime is eligible for premium-free Part A coverage.
However, everyone with Medicare Part B pays a monthly fee for their plan. The amount varies by income, but the standard Part B premium in 2020 is $144.60.
The main benefit of Medicare Easy Pay is that it offers a convenient way to avoid missing payments. Following authorization, the system takes the payment automatically from a person’s checking or savings account.
Another benefit is that the program is free-of-charge and does not require a person to complete multiple forms.
If a person wishes to sign up for Medicare Easy Pay, they can print and fill out the Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments form.
Individuals who do not have access to either a printer or the internet can instead call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) to request a form through the mail.
Filling out the form requires a Medicare card and bank details. The easiest way to get access to bank details is to have a blank check handy. A void check is necessary if a person intends to use their checking account for the program.
The table below shows some of the boxes on the form and suggests the information that may be required:
|Box to complete||Necessary information|
|Agency name||Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services|
|Individual/organization name||A person should fill out their name exactly as it appears on their Medicare card.|
|Agency account identification number||11-character Medicare card number|
|Type of payment||Medicare Premiums|
|Bank account details||Details should include full name of account holder, bank account number, and routing number. It is important to enter bank details exactly as they appear on a person’s account.|
If an individual is filling out the form themselves, they can ignore the “Signature and Title of Representative,” as this only applies if a bank has assisted someone with completing the form.
A person must then send completed forms to the following address:
Medicare Premium Collection Center
PO Box 979098
St. Louis, MO 63197-9000
Processing can take up to 8 weeks.
An individual can use Easy Pay to pay original Medicare Part A and Part B premiums.
Easy Pay does not apply to plans that private insurance companies provide, such as Medigap (Medicare supplement insurance), Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part D.
To stop Easy Pay, a person must fill out the “Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments” form again.
At the top of the form, there is a box entitled “Paperwork Reduction Act/Privacy Act Statement.”
Below this, there are three boxes. By checking the “Stop” box, a person instructs Medicare to cancel Easy Pay.
A person can pay their premiums online or by mail instead of signing up for recurring monthly payments through Easy Pay. Paying online is safer and more secure than paying by mail.
Online options include using a bank’s online bill payment service or logging into a Medicare Account and using a credit card, checking or savings account, or debit card.
People can find more information about online payments on the Medicare website.
If an individual receives Social Security benefits, it is possible to deduct the Medicare premiums before the payment reaches a person’s bank account.
To use this method of payment for Medicare Advantage plans or any other plan that a private insurance company administers, a person must contact their plan provider directly to arrange it.
Several programs are available to help people pay their healthcare premiums.
Medicaid is a program available for people with limited income.
This state-run program can help in several ways, ensuring that these individuals can access the care that they need.
Medicare savings programs (MSPs)
Medicare savings programs (MSPs) are state-based programs. They can help people pay out-of-pocket healthcare costs, such as Medicare parts A and B copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles.
Programs under this umbrella include:
- Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program
- Qualifying Individual (QI) program
- Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) program
- Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) program
A person can apply by contacting their State Medicaid Program.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
SSI benefits are available for people 65 years and older who meet specific financial criteria and individuals who have limited income and are living with a disability.
Paying premiums for healthcare coverage can be complicated. However, using a free, automatic payment method, such as Easy Pay, to pay monthly premiums can simplify the process.
People can apply for Easy Pay by downloading, printing, and completing a form available on the Medicare website. Alternatively, a person can request to receive a form through the mail.
Extra support is available through Medicaid, MSPs, and SSI.