By Barry Lenson
There are so many questions to ask when you are drafting a will and making an estate plan. If you are married and you die, can all your assets be passed to your spouse without incurring estate tax? If you have a life insurance policy, will your beneficiary have to pay taxes on the amount it pays? Can you give assets to your heirs while you are still alive to avoid paying estate taxes? Or would it help to establish some kind of trust?
We could go on and on asking questions like those, but it’s unpleasant. If you find them unpleasant too, you are not alone. But while we are asking unpleasant questions, here is one more to consider . . .
Do you really think that if you don’t make an estate plan, you will never die?
Of course, you don’t think that, and neither do I. When you avoid thinking about estate planning, you are only passing on problems to your heirs. And you don’t want to do that, do you?
So, it’s time to mature up and consider the question that is the title of this article . . .
Will the Medicare fees you have paid be refunded if you die?
It’s a good idea to think about this question. If you’re a Medicare recipient, it should be something you ask now. If you don’t answer it, chances are pretty good that after you die, the money you overpaid in Medicare premiums is going to sit in some fund of unclaimed assets that the government has, and your heirs will never get it until a long period of time has passed.
But there are ways to keep that from happening. In fact, your questions about how premiums will be repaid after you die are answered in depth in section HI 01001.325 of the Social Security Administration Program Operations Manual. You’ll find the information you need to know there in a section entitled, “Refunding Excess Medicare Premiums for Deceased Beneficiaries.” If the question of who will get back the fees you have paid is on your mind, you’ll want to read this section.
Here is a summary of the main points. . .
- Overpaid fees will be repaid. Both Original Medicare and private providers of plans like Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplemental plans are required to repay premiums that you paid for unused coverage. If you paid for a Medicare Part D plan through the month of November but passed away on November 15th, for example, a portion of the premium you paid for that month of coverage should be refunded to your estate.
- Fees will be repaid via your estate executor. He or she, like the executor of any estate, should establish an estate account at a bank where refunded fees can be deposited.
- There is no limit on the amount that will be refunded. If the fees were paid, they will be refunded in full.
- Fees will be refunded to your estate. Even if a relative, a caregiver or someone else paid fees on your behalf, those fees will not be refunded to that individual. They will be issued to your estate instead.
- The Social Security Administration will take care to make sure the refunds will go to the right person, not someone who is fraudulently trying to get a refund of the fees you paid. Detailed information can be found in the Social Security Administration Program Operations Manual in the section titled, “Procedure For Determining The Proper Recipient And Processing The Medicare Premium Refund When The Refund Is Owed To The Deceased Beneficiary.”
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This Should All Come as a Relief
Why? Because the Social Security Administration is clearly trying diligently to refund Medicare fees that were paid after a Medicare member passes away.
And here’s another reassuring thought. There are times when Medicare fees are overpaid. Perhaps you mistakenly paid your monthly premiums twice. These mistakes can happen. But if they do, the Social Security Administration/Medicare will repay all those fees to your estate.
This is one time Uncle Sam is working for you. So even if you don’t like to think about your future death, you still have some reason to smile.
Want to Know More?
Visit CoverRight.com they’ll help you find the right Medicare coverage based on your personal situation. Reach out today and find the best Medicare plan for you.
CoverRight.com is a digital-first health insurance platform focused on Medicare. The company’s mission is to make Medicare more transparent and accessible for America’s 60 million Medicare beneficiaries. They aim to simplify a traditionally confusing and complex decision by delivering you a simple, delightful, and comprehensive enrollment experience. They have Medicare professionals available to assist with all areas of the enrollment process.
About Barry Lenson
Barry’s most recent book projects have included The Digital Health Revolution and Connecting Health Care, for which he served as writer and editor for the author Kevin Pereau. Barry’s own books include the Amazon.com self-help bestseller Good Stress, Bad Stress. Barry writes blogs for Tortal Training, Ingage Consulting, Specialty Metals Smelters and Refiners, and other clients.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens to Medicare when someone dies?
Unfortunately, there is no death benefit for Medicare. Families should purchase life insurance or final expenses insurance to help cover those costs. Medicare can make payments to surviving beneficiaries, given a certain set of circumstances.
What happens to Social Security when you die?
Social Security benefits may continue when someone dies if they have an eligible dependent.