Each year some enrollees lose their Medicare Part B coverage because they do not pay their Part B premiums to Medicare on time. As an STRS Ohio health care plan participant, it’s important for you to maintain your Medicare Part B coverage. If you lose your Part B coverage, you will not be eligible for an STRS Ohio medical plan.
Your Medicare premium is not included in your monthly STRS Ohio health care premium. Instead, it is a separate premium that must be paid directly to Medicare.
Many enrollees have their Medicare Part B premium automatically deducted from their Social Security benefit or other federal retirement payment. If your premium is not deducted from a federal retirement payment, Medicare will send you a bill for your Part B premium every three months.
Instead of writing checks, a better option is to sign up for Medicare Easy Pay. Medicare Easy Pay is a free, electronic payment option that automatically deducts your Medicare premium from your savings or checking account each month. If you currently receive a premium bill from Medicare, you should sign up for Medicare Easy Pay.
To sign up, you’ll need to submit an Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments (SF-5510) to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This form is also available by calling Medicare toll-free at 800‑633‑4227 or visiting www.medicare.gov. Mail the completed form to: Medicare Premium Collection Center, P.O. Box 979098, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Please allow up to eight weeks for your authorization form to be processed.
After your enrollment in Medicare Easy Pay is complete, two things will happen each month:
- You will receive a “Notice of Medicare Premium Payment Due” indicating the premium will be deducted from your bank account; and
- Your premium will be deducted from your bank account, usually on the 20th of each month. The deduction will appear on your bank statement as an Automated Clearing House (ACH) transaction.
While there are several advantages to using Medicare Easy Pay, the most significant is the assurance that your Medicare coverage will not be canceled due to late or lost payments. Other benefits include saving postage costs, spending less time writing checks, having a secure way to make timely payments, even when you’re away from home, and maintaining a more accurate payment history.
If you have questions about signing up for Medicare Easy Pay, please call Medicare toll-free at 800‑633‑4227.