Stephanie—I’m scheduled to have cataract surgery next month. To my surprise, my doctor’s office is telling me that Medicare is not going to cover my procedure. I’m so confused. I enrolled into Medicare Part B and into a supplemental insurance plan. I’m not drawing Social Security checks, is that the problem? Please help, I’m so confused. Thanks, Lana from Cypress, TX.

Ms. Lana,

Not collecting your Social Security check is wholly unrelated to lack of coverage under Medicare Part B. Most people invariably neglect to pay their premium Part B on time. When this happens, if one forgets to pay his or her monthly premium Part B, then Medicare will refrain from paying their 80% portion. The best way to overcome lacking health coverage is to setup a Medicare Easy Pay account. There is no cost involved and the process is easy. Simply complete an Authorization Agreement for Preauthorized Payments form (SF-5510), which authorizes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—the Federal agency that runs Medicare—to deduct your monthly Medicare premium from your bank account. You can download the form at www.medicare.govor call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227).

You will need to provide Medicare (CMS) a copy of a voided check. Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for your paperwork to be processed. You will receive a Notice of Medicare Premium Payment Due with the obligatory “This is not a bill” statement, informing you that the premium will be deducted from your bank account. Medicare (CMS) typically deducts your premium from your bank account on the 20th of each month, which will appear on your bank statement as an “Automated Clearing House (ACH)” transaction. If your bank rejects or returns your premium deduction, then Medicare (CMS) will send you a letter with instructions on how to make a direct payment.

If you or someone you know is turning 65 and confused about Medicare, attend a FREE educational workshop on Monday March 23, 2020 at 6:30pm.

The workshop will be held at the Sugar Land Branch Library, located at 550 Eldridge Rd, Sugar Land, TX 77479.

Seating is limited, so call (832) 319-8736 to RSVP.