By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Certain people younger than age 65 can qualify for Medicare, too, including those with disabilities and those who have permanent kidney failure.
If you’re a Medicare beneficiary who has been informed that you must pay more for your Medicare Part B or Medicare prescription drug coverage premium because of your income, and you disagree with the decision that you need to pay a higher premium amount, you may request an appeal. The fastest and easiest way to file an appeal of your decision is by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov/disability/appeal.
You can file online and provide documents electronically to support your appeal. You can also file an appeal online even if you live outside of the United States. You may also request an appeal in writing by completing a Request for Reconsideration (Form SSA-561-U2) at www.socialsecurity.gov/forms/ssa-561.html.
If you don’t have access to the internet, you can request a copy of the form by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).
Learn more by reading our publication Medicare Premiums: Rules for Higher-Income Beneficiaries at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10536.pdf.
Know someone who hasn’t signed up for Medicare yet? They can use our online Medicare application if they:
- Are at least 64 years and 9 months old;
- Want to sign up for Medicare but do not currently have ANY Medicare coverage;
- Do not want to start receiving Social Security benefits at this time; and
- Are not currently receiving Social Security retirement, disability, or survivors benefits.
Remind them that they should sign up for Medicare three months before reaching age 65, even if they are not ready to start receiving retirement benefits. They can opt out of beginning to receive retirement benefits now once they are in the online application. Then they can apply online for retirement benefits later.
You can learn all you need to know at www.socialsecurity.gov/benefits/medicare and easily share these resources with family and friends.
Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.