Critter Corner: Were You Double Billed by Medicare in September?

Dear Rune,

Welcome to the Critter Corner! I hope you can help me. I believe I may have been double billed last month by Medicare. Is t
his something that you have heard about, and if so, what should I do? Thanks for your help!

Bill Twyce

Dear Bill,

Thanks! I am very glad to be part of the Farr Law Firm’s Critter Corner team.

Due to a “processing error,” about 411,000 seniors who have their Medicare Part B premiums automatically deducted from their bank accounts through Medicare’s Easy Pay system were double billed for the month of September, according to CMS (the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).

According to the 2019 Medicare plan, for Part B, those who make less than $85,000, or $170,000 as a couple, are supposed to pay $135.50 per month. If you make between $85,001 and $107,000, your premium is $189.60 per month. So, some people who were double billed paid $271, or as much as $379.20 this month!

According to the CMS, “(t)he Treasury Department is working to reverse the duplicate charge. Approximately 20% of the duplicated transactions have been returned by financial institutions, and if the remaining duplications are not returned by today, the Treasury’s Bureau of Fiscal Service will begin to reverse the remaining transactions to complete the reimbursement.”

CMS added, “Beneficiaries concerned with overdraft or other fees related to the issue should contact their bank and ask that the fees be waived. Beneficiaries may also contact 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), if verification that the issue occurred is needed.”

Make sure you’re not being scammed

Remember, an “accident” could disguise itself as fraud. Fraudulent Medicare activities include everything from someone stealing your ID and using it to file Medicare reimbursement claims, to a provider saying you need equipment and services you don’t actually need just to make more money off you. If you believe you have been scammed and it has nothing to do with being double billed in September, you can report it to the Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General.

Hope this is helpful,

Rune

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