Medicare beneficiaries who don’t collect Social Security are billed either monthly (Part A and Part D IRMAA) or quarterly (Part B). Medicare Easy Pay automatically deducts your premium each month. It’s convenient, simple, and free. This post describes how to enroll in Medicare Easy Pay. We also look at what happens next, how to disenroll or change your bank account, and discuss other ways to pay your Medicare premiums.
What Is Medicare Easy Pay?
Medicare Easy Pay is an electronic payment option that automatically deducts your Medicare premium from your bank account every month.
- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must send you a bill for your Medicare premiums. Beneficiaries whose bill comes from the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) cannot enroll in Medicare Easy Pay. Neither can those who receive Social Security benefits. Social Security deducts your Medicare premiums automatically.
- You must have a checking or savings account.
- You cannot owe more than three months’ worth of premiums.
Those are the only requirements for using Medicare Easy Pay.
How Do You Sign Up for Medicare Easy Pay?
Like pretty much everything related to Medicare, you need to complete and mail in a form to sign up for Easy Pay. Download and print the Authorization Agreement for Pre-authorized Payments Form. Then, fill it out and mail it to the address on the form.
After CMS receives your request, it takes up to 8 weeks to process. Once you’re enrolled in Medicare Easy Pay, you’ll receive a monthly statement stating that your premium will be deducted automatically each month. Typically, this occurs on the 20th via ACH (automated clearing house) transaction.
If your bank rejects a transaction for any reason, CMS sends you a letter that explains how to make your payment directly to Medicare.
Will Medicare Ever Take More Than Your Monthly Premium?
Most people pay their Part B premium quarterly instead of monthly. If this describes you, your first payment via Easy Pay may cover up to three months. It depends on how long it’s been since you paid your Part B premium.
That first month is the only time CMS will deduct more than $10 over your monthly premium amount. That’s why you can’t sign up for Easy Pay if you owe more than three months’ worth of premiums.
What Premiums Can You Pay with Medicare Easy Pay?
You can pay three premiums with Medicare Easy Pay:
- Medicare Part A (if you have a monthly premium)
- Medicare Part B
- The Part D income-related monthly adjustment amount (IRMAA)
When these premiums change, CMS automatically deducts the new amount from your bank account.
If you have a Medicare Advantage (MA) or Part D prescription drug plan, you cannot pay your premium via Easy Pay. Discuss payment options with your plan’s insurance carrier.
What If You Change Your Mind?
If you need to change your bank account or want to leave Medicare Easy Pay entirely, download the same form listed above. Then, check the appropriate box (Change or Stop), complete the form, and mail it to CMS. Again, it can take two months for CMS to process your form, so don’t expect immediate results.
Other Options to Pay Your Medicare Premiums
If you have a My Medicare account (and if you don’t, you should), you can pay your Medicare bill online with a credit or debit card. All you need is a copy of your Medicare bill and the information off your credit or debit card.
If your bank supports online bill payment, you can also pay your Medicare premiums directly from your bank account. Talk to you bank to determine whether you can do this and what information you need (such as account and routing numbers).
Finally, there is the old standby, the U.S. Postal Service. Each month, your Medicare bill includes a payment coupon. Just fill it out and attach a check or money order. Or, enter your credit or debit card information on the payment coupon. Then, mail it to the Medicare Premium Collection Center, P.O. Box 7960355, St. Louis, MO 63179-0355.
If you mail in your payment, it is always best to include the payment coupon. This helps ensure your payment is applied correctly.
What Happens If You’re Late Paying Your Medicare Premiums?
If you’re late paying your Medicare premiums, what you need to do depends on how late you are.
Start by looking in the upper righthand corner. Whatever is printed here dictates what you should do.
- This is not a bill: You don’t need to do anything because you’re enrolled in Medicare Easy Pay.
- First Bill: Your next payment is due by the 25th of the month following the billing date listed on the bill. If the bill is dated January 26, payment is due by February 25.
- Second Bill: The total bill, including the delinquent amount, is due by the 25th. If the billing date is February 26, you owe the full amount by March 25.
- Delinquent Bill: You are in danger of losing your coverage if the entire amount due is not received by the 25th. Payment for a bill dated in March is due by April 25.
Again, you risk a lapse in coverage if you fail to pay your bill. That’s one of the biggest benefits of Medicare Easy Pay: It’s extremely convenient. It’s especially easy to forget a payment if you use automatic payment for most of your bills.
Get Help Understanding Your Medicare Options
The licensed agents at Medicare Solutions can explain your Medicare plan options to help you determine the best coverage to meet your needs and budget. Just call 855-350-8101 toll-free to get started. You can also use our online tool to begin comparing Medicare plans in your area.