Hit with Medicare Part-B Penalties? Waiver May Provide Relief.
By Tricia of Allsup
As director of Allsup’s healthcare services, I receive a lot of questions about how Medicare and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, coordinate benefits.
That’s no surprise, because both federal programs are complex and can be difficult to navigate, especially when transitioning from one to the other. A big concern our customers deal with is knowing when to enroll in Medicare.
Once a person has been granted Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (hospital care) 24 months after they begin receiving SSDI benefits. They also must enroll in Medicare Part B, which covers doctor visits and outpatient care. Failure to do so can lead to lifetime penalties.
Prior to becoming eligible for Medicare, they may have been on a Marketplace plan and either chose to stay on that plan when they became eligible for Medicare or were unaware that they needed to enroll in Medicare Part B or face a penalty, even if they had Marketplace coverage.
Many of them are used to the healthcare coverage offered by their former employer. Now, they are coordinating other types of healthcare coverage options that work very differently than the coverage they are used to.
Because of widespread confusion about how Marketplace and Medicare coordinate and the Part B enrollment requirement, individuals can now apply for a penalty waiver. This waiver will reduce the Part B penalty for those who had a penalty from 2015, 2016 or 2017, and allow newly enrolled individuals to get Part B without an ongoing penalty.
Contact Social Security at (800) 772-1213 or visit your local office to get more information about the Part B premium waiver. Be sure to mention “equitable relief.” All requests must be filed by Sept. 30.
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