Although most people who are eligible for Medicare receive premium-free Medicare Part A coverage, everyone enrolled in Medicare Part B must pay a monthly premium. Some individuals even need to pay for Part A coverage if they do not have enough work credits to qualify for it at no cost. Remembering to pay your Part B premium each month can get tiring, and you could lose your coverage if you forget to pay it. Plus, mailing a check for your monthly Medicare premium runs the risk that your payment might get lost in the mail. Medicare Easy Pay offers a great solution to all these problems. It allows you a way to pay your premium amount each month automatically. So, how does it work, and how do you get signed up? Keep reading to get all the details about this service.
What Is Medicare Easy Pay?
So, what is Easy Pay? Medicare Easy Pay is a payment solution that allows the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to withdraw your monthly Medicare premium from your bank account automatically. Instead of receiving a Medicare premium bill in the mail and sending in a payment each month, these recurring automatic payments make things much easier. You can rest assured that your payment will be received on time each month so that there are no issues with your coverage. You can choose to have your Medicare premium payments withdrawn from either a checking account or savings account. During enrollment, you will complete the Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments and provide your account information.
Remember that monthly premiums are automatically withheld from Social Security benefits for those people who are receiving Social Security. Similarly, the premiums can be withheld from Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits as well. However, for those who are not receiving either of these benefits, these automatic payments can make life much easier. It is a great payment option for those who might forget to make their monthly payment or simply don’t want the hassle of making an individual payment each month.
How To Enroll In Medicare Easy Pay
If you think that these automatic payments sound like a great option, you probably wonder how you can get signed up. There are a couple of ways to complete enrollment. Both are so straightforward they could be explained as Medicare for Dummies. You should know that it will take about 6 to 8 weeks for your enrollment to be processed. You will still need to manually make your payment each month until then. Also, you will still receive a statement each month. However, it will be clearly marked, “THIS IS NOT A BILL.” The statement will let you know that your premium will be automatically withdrawn from your account. Here is how to get signed up.
— Enroll Online
Online enrollment is the quickest and easiest way to get signed up for Easy Pay. Simply head over to www.Medicare.gov to create a secure Medicare account. You only need some basic information from your Medicare card, like your 11-character Medicare number, to get signed up for an account. If you can’t find your card, you should go ahead and request a Medicare card replacement. Once your account has been created, you can select “My Premiums” and then “Sign Up.” From there, you just need to complete a short online form to begin the automatic deductions for your Medicare Part B premium. You should begin to see these deductions on your bank statement in about six weeks.
— Paper Application
If you don’t want to sign up online, you can also complete the paper authorization form. You will need to print and complete the Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments. You will send the completed form to the following address:
Medicare Premium Collection Center
PO Box 979098
St. Louis, MO 63197-9000
Once you send the payments form to the Medicare Premium Collection Center P.O. Box, they will receive and process your authorization form. You can expect your recurring payments to start in about 6 to 8 weeks. Make sure that you continue to make your regular payments until the automatic withdrawals begin so that you do not lose your Medicare coverage in the meantime.
Medicare Plans Not Eligible For Easy Pay
Not all Medicare plans are eligible for the Easy Pay service. Only CMS Medicare plans will qualify. This means that you can sign up for the service as long as you have Original Medicare because the Federal Medicare program is the one that administers and manages the Easy Pay service. Some other plans might not qualify. Here are the details about other plans in which you might be enrolled.
— Medicare Advantage Plans
Medicare Advantage plans are managed and administered by private insurance companies. These plans include both Part A and Part B coverage. In addition, many also include additional benefits like prescription drug coverage and vision and dental benefits. Although some of these plans have no monthly premium, most of them come with a premium that must be paid each month. You cannot use Medicare’s Easy Pay system to pay your Medicare Advantage plan premium. However, your insurance company might have an option for automatic payments. You should check with your plan carrier to determine the payment options that are available.
— Medicare Supplement Plans
Similar to Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare supplement insurance is managed by private insurance companies. These Medigap plans help pay for out-of-pocket expenses not covered by Original Medicare, like deductibles, copays, and coinsurance. Unfortunately, Medigap plans are not part of the Medicare Easy Pay system. You will have to find another way to pay your Medigap premium, although your insurance company might offer some automatic payment options. Check with your insurance agent or company to determine the payment options that are available to you.
— Medicare Part D
Many Medicare beneficiaries choose to enroll in a Part D drug plan to help keep their overall health insurance expenses lower. These drug plans are also sold and managed by private insurance companies. Since they are not part of the Federal Medicare program, these plans are not eligible for Easy Pay. However, as we’ve already mentioned with other plan types, your insurance company might offer some automatic payment options. You should check with your insurance provider to learn more about the different ways that you can pay your premium.
Other Options For Medicare Premium Payments
Perhaps you decide not to sign up for Easy Pay, so you might be wondering what other payment options exist for your Medicare premium. Medicare offers several other options, and here is more detail on each of those options.
— Bank Bill Pay System
Many people use their bank’s online bill payment service to handle their Medicare premium each month. Some banks even allow these payments to be set up on a recurring basis. So, the end result is the same. Your payment will be automatically made each month. To get this set up, you should contact your bank or set it up on your own through your bank’s online system.
Many people still choose to send a check or money order to Medicare each month. Medicare will still send you a statement and payment coupon each month in the mail. Simply return this payment coupon with your check or money order. This method is a little slower, and you run the risk of your statement or payment getting lost in the mail. If it does get lost, you could end up spending time trying to get things corrected.
— Credit Or Debit Card
Paying your Medicare premium with a credit card or debit card is another option. This can be done by providing your credit card account number, expiration date, and other details on the payment coupon. You can also pay Medicare online with a credit or debit card through your Medicare account. Many people choose this option for their Medicare costs because it is fast and easy.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t want to worry about mailing a check each month for your Medicare premium, you should consider signing up for the Medicare EZ Pay service. Simply enroll online or complete the authorization form and return it by mail. In about 6 to 8 weeks, your premium payments will start to get automatically withdrawn from your bank account around the 20th of each month. If you have any trouble enrolling or have questions about the service, you should call 1-800-Medicare to speak with a Medicare representative.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Medicare Easy Pay safe?
Yes, Medicare Easy Pay is perfectly safe. Your bank account details are stored securely within Medicare’s payment system. This information is used to pull your premium payment from your account each month. The system used to store your information uses bank-grade security to keep your information safe from potential cybercriminals. You can rest easy knowing that your personal financial details are secure.
Can I autopay Medicare with a credit card?
No, you cannot set up autopay with a credit card at this time. Currently, Medicare Easy Pay only supports payments withdrawn from a checking or savings account. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, your insurance company might offer options that allow you to set up autopay with a credit card each month. Medicare Easy Pay might support credit card payments in the future, but those payments are not supported currently.
What are the benefits of Medicare Easy Pay?
One of the biggest benefits of Medicare Easy Pay is that your payment will be on time each month. You don’t have to worry about your payment getting lost or being late. In addition, if your premium amount changes, Easy Pay will automatically deduct the correct amount. This system makes it extremely easy for you to have confidence that your Medicare premium has been paid properly and timely.
What happens if I don’t pay Medicare?
If you miss one month’s payment, you will get a grace period to make your payment. You will get a second bill from Medicare showing you the past due amount. Once your payment is 90 days late, you will receive a delinquent bill statement from Medicare. This is the last bill that you will receive. If the payment is not made by the due date on the delinquent bill, you will lose your Medicare coverage. Losing coverage can create many problems, so you want to ensure that you do not get into that situation.