Who should I speak with if I'm entitled to a refund through Medicare?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 21, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

what do I do if I believe I've been paying for medicare part B premiums when in actuality, my social security etc benefits total too little? Is there a specific dept in medicare to speak with? Would I be entitled to a refund if I am correct?

Expert Answers

Many people who have low income and few assets can qualify for assistance with their Medicare-related out-of-pocket costs, including the Medicare Part B premium. Some people also have their Medicare Part A and Part B deductibles and coinsurance amounts paid, too. These programs are called the Medicare Savings Programs[medicare.gov] and include being a Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), and Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) or a Qualifying Individual (QI). The extent of the savings depends on which program you qualify for. Each program has its own eligibility rules, with limits on both income and assets. You should be aware that all your income from any source, not just from Social Security, will be considered if you apply for one of these Medicare Savings programs.

To apply for one of the Medicare Savings programs, you do not contact Medicare directly. Instead, the application is handled through the local (usually county) agency in your state that administers the state's Medicaid program. This is usually the county department of social services or social welfare. To find the office in your state, enter Medicaid and the name of your state in an online search engine, then look for the listing of local offices. When you make your application, you'll need to provide them with documents showing your total income and assets. If you are found eligible, your coverage by one of these programs can be retroactive to the third month before you filed your application.