Sara Swanson

Local seniors may receive incorrect letter from state about Medicare reduction

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ODHYE-BA_400x400A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services technical system error caused the Social Security Administration to erroneously send the letter to about 12,000 seniors and people with disabilities (out of the nearly 250,000 people in Michigan enrolled in the Medicare Savings Program around the state), stating their Medicare Part B premiums would no longer be subsidized. The State released a statement on Thursday reassuring anyone who received it in error that they should not be concerned about a reduction in their Social Security checks. Laura Seyfried, executive director of the Community Resource Center is not sure if this affects any of the senior residents of our area, but wants to get the word out so that if there are, they won’t  worry.

“We want to make sure that people who received the incorrect letter understand that they won’t see a reduction in their Social Security checks because of this error,” said Chris Priest, deputy director of Medical Services for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or MDHHS. “We quickly corrected the mistake before any checks went out and are working now with our federal partners. MDHHS understands the worries that this faulty information caused seniors and other residents. We apologize for the confusion caused by the system error.”

MDHHS has implemented a technical correction and submitted updated information to the federal government. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is working with the Social Security Administration to update the information. MDHHS is closely monitoring the situation and working to ensure Social Security checks are correct.

In addition to the 12,000 incorrect notices, about 3,000 people who are no longer eligible for the Medicare Savings Program were sent notices stating that they will no longer receive that benefit. These are notices MDHHS sends to anyone who is no longer eligible due to losing Medicaid eligibility or because changes in income or assets made them ineligible for the Medicare Savings Program. These individuals would have received a notice from both Social Security Administration and MDHHS. Individuals who incorrectly received notices would have been notified by the Social Security Administration only.

The Social Security Administration will be sending corrected notices to Medicare recipients affected by the error. There is no need for these individuals to take any action. Anyone who has questions can contact their MDHHS caseworker.

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