Reversing incorrect Medicare enrollment

Richard – Indiana: I’m a low-income veteran and receive free care at a VA hospital, including prescription drugs. I was put on Medicare Part B without my knowledge and they are deducting those premiums from my Social Security. I did not ask for it and do not want it. They (Social Security) told me they sent me a letter to tell me how to not be auto-enrolled. I was homeless at the time, so of course did not receive the letter! They say it was my fault for not responding to the letter, and so they enrolled me. Can they put me into Medicare part B without my permission and then take money from my Social Security just because I didn’t respond to a letter I never received?

These computer-generated letters can have a big effect on your life.

Phil Moeller: Unwanted Medicare enrollments like yours happen all the time and, in your case, it is a really lousy way to treat a veteran. It’s also a national shame that you have been homeless after serving your country. You should be able to drop Part B and have your prior payments returned to you — whether or not they sent you a letter.

Your story is one of the reasons I tell folks to never throw anything from Social Security into the trash, although in your case there was no way you could have even received such a letter. These computer-generated letters can have a big effect on your life, as you’ve sadly learned.

I would call your congressman’s office and ask them to help you get fair treatment here. Social Security pays attention to what these offices say. Please let me know how things turn out.