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Medicare B
Old 04-17-2010, 10:15 AM   #1
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Medicare B

Tried contacting Medicare and Social Security having no luck finding the answer on the websites and couldn't get a live voice to talk to, call dropped after navigating the stupid electronic grilling each time. Anyway...

I've had Medicare B premiums deducted from my paycheck. Already fully insured from previous employment (public schools in CA don't participate in SS). At retirement, do I continue making payments and have the Retirement System withhold from my pension or am I done until I hit 65? No one in HR could seem to (or want to) answer and so far every time I call CalSTRS they are closed on furlough. I forgot to ask the benefit counselor when we had our face to face meeting. I am going to get a hold of STRS eventually, but I figured someone in our group would know.
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:46 AM   #2
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assume that you will have to pay the Medicare part B premium one way or another. If your company doesn't allow Part B deductions from your pension then you will have to pay by check etc.

If you will start collecting Social Security then you can have the payments deducted from that.

You need to verify all this with the SSA office though
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
I've had Medicare B premiums deducted from my paycheck.
I did not realize that they would deduct your Medicare premuim from a paycheck. I have Part B, but since I have not begun receiving SS payments yet, they send me a bill quarterly and I send it back advising them to deduct it from my Discover card.
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:38 PM   #4
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Somehow I have the feeling you folks are talking about 2 different things.....
sounds like OP is not yet 65? (".....until I hit 65" ) in which case OP would not yet be eligible for Medicare and would not be paying premiums? I'm guessing OP meant that the payroll/FICA/Medicare taxes were being taken out of paycheck and now that paycheck has stopped, what happens?

I think the payroll tax is only paid on earned income. I don't know how you become Medicare-eligible......do you have to contribute for a certain # of quarters like for SS? I seem to remember that people who haven't contributed enough having to buy in through a lump sum or something like that.

When OP is starts getting Medicare, then Medicare B premiums can be deducted from SS. Never heard of them being deducted from pensions.

edit to add: if you google "medicare eligibility" , you get a questionaire you can fill out like this: it sounds like you need 10 yrs of eligibility (same as SS) . Don't know what happens if you don't.......but I think that's where you have to buy in w/ lump sum.

Eligibility & Enrollment Date Calculator Results

Based on your work history, you are not eligible for premium free Medicare benefits at this time. For further information, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213, or visit or call your local Social Security office.

Recap of Your Answers

Date of Birth: 1/1/1945
Have you worked 10 years or more in Medicare covered employment: No
Are you a U.S. citizen: Yes
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Old 04-17-2010, 03:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by kaneohe View Post
Somehow I have the feeling you folks are talking about 2 different things.....
sounds like OP is not yet 65? (".....until I hit 65" ) in which case OP would not yet be eligible for Medicare and would not be paying premiums? I'm guessing OP meant that the payroll/FICA/Medicare taxes were being taken out of paycheck and now that paycheck has stopped, what happens?

.

After rereading the OP, I agree with you. Good catch kaneohe.
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:59 AM   #6
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OK, I see now why I was confused. Back umpteen years when I signed up for the withholding I already had qualified for full SS insurance from previous employment and got stuck somehow on only needing to pay for part B. Then promptly ignoring it until recently I knew my monthly deduction was almost exactly to the dollar the part B premium amount (odd coincidence). I checked my monthly gross times 1.45% and sure enough it is exactly the medicare tax that is being withheld.

So long story short, at retirement I won't have this deduction since I no longer have earned income. At 65, I'll enroll in medicare. Apparently our pension plan will withhold the premium and forward it to SS, which was also a source of confusion to me as it didn't seem all that clear what was being withheld (or I am just a bit slow these days more likely).

I'll call CalSTRS tomorrow just to verify that I can forget the whole #$%^ thing. As I remember it now, my wife didn't have to sign up for the withholding since she was hired before 1986 (or 84?) and she qualifies under my account, so she opted out. I think she'll just have to start paying the part B deductible like me. Fortunately, our employer pays for our medical insurance until 67 (medicare becomes primary at 65) and then we have a union trust fund that we contribute to that takes over premium payment and we are free of contributions to it after that.

Thanks fellas!
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