UNITED STATES—Dear Toni, my Medicare begins September 1 and I have received my first bill for $660. This bill is for 4 months from September to December. I thought Medicare was a monthly premium of $164.90. If I pay the outrageous premium, then I cannot afford my car payment.

This bill for Medicare is due August 25. Does Medicare allow monthly payments for the Medicare Part B premium? I cannot have my Medicare premium taken from my Social Security check because I work and make more than Social Security allows without having to pay a penalty since I am not at my “Full Retirement Age” (FRA). Jackie, Dallas, TX.

Hi Jackie, you are correct that Americans can pay their Medicare premiums monthly by having the premium taken from their Social Security check. Social Security will automatically deduct the monthly Medicare premiums and send a letter informing the Medicare beneficiary (you) that the monthly Medicare Part B premiums are being deducted from the Social Security check.

Jackie, because you are enrolled in Medicare and have a Medicare card, I would advise you to open a Medicare.gov account. In your Medicare account is information such as:

  • Your Medicare Part A and Part B enrollment dates
  • The Medicare Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan you are enrolled in.
  • Medicare claims.
  • How to print a copy of your Medicare card and other information regarding your Medicare account.
  • And (a big surprise for you Jackie) the option to pay your Medicare premium monthly via credit, debit card or from your checking account. This can be set up on the Medicare.gov website. One can also use a Health Savings Account (HSA) debit card to pay for the Medicare premium if they have one.

Jackie, I would urge you to set up your Medicare.gov account as quickly as possible and pay your Medicare bill immediately. If you would like to have your premium deducted directly from your bank account monthly, then use the Medicare Easy Pay option which is available on Medicare.gov. The Medicare Easy Pay application process takes 4 to 6 weeks, In the meantime, you can pay using the Medicare.gov website on a monthly basis to keep from getting behind on your payments until the Medicare Easy Pay process starts.

Personally, I started my Social Security check at my Full Retirement Age (FRA), and my Medicare premiums are now being deducted from it. Before receiving my Social Security check, I would pay my Medicare premium using a credit card on my Medicare.gov account.

If one does not stay current with their Medicare premium payments, then the Medicare Beneficiary can lose their benefits and may be charged a penalty when they re-enroll into Medicare. Please do not fall behind on your payment because you can be disenrolled from your Medicare for non-payment.

Medicare Part D prescription drug premiums need to be paid directly to the Part D insurance company that is chosen. It is not paid via the Medicare site. One can pay their Medicare prescription drug premium either directly to the prescription drug company by check or credit card.

Once one begins receiving a Social Security check, then both Medicare Part B and Part D prescription drug premiums can be taken from their Social Security check.

Toni Says: Many do not realize that they can pay their Part B premiums monthly when not receiving their Social Security check by following the rules set up by Medicare. Take your time and study this confusing Medicare process.

Call the Toni Says Medicare hotline at (832) 519-8664 or email info@tonisays.com for assistance with Medicare issues. Toni’s books are available at www.tonisays.com with a bundle discount for Toni Says readers. Visit www.seniorresource.com/medicaremoments or other Baby Boomer needs.