Brooks Provides Update on Medicare Issue

HARRISBURG – Sen. Michele Brooks is working to resolve an issue affecting possibly thousands of senior citizens who recently received letters from the Social Security Administration (SSA) stating that their Medicare Part B State Buy-In has been terminated.

Sen. Brooks began working proactively with Cong. Mike Kelly’s office and the state Department of Human Services (DHS) earlier this week, after Cong. Kelly reported that his office had been inundated with phone calls from concerned Medicare recipients.  The lawmakers are working to determine why the letters were sent.  

“Mercer County residents are among those affected, but I wanted to be proactive and inform residents in other counties in case the problem is more widespread,” Sen. Brooks said, “Although it’s early in this stage of the investigation, I want to inform residents that this is happening because I do not want them to be unduly worried.”

In a correspondence issued today by DHS in response to Sen. Brooks’ inquiries, officials said that, they “are aware of the issue” and “are working to quickly develop a permanent resolution.”

DHS officials also said, “Until a solution is implemented, those cases that are identified to have been closed in error will be systematically re-processed so that Buy-In eligibility is re-established.   In the event that the premium is inadvertently deducted from the SSA monthly payment due to the system issue, the affected case(s) will have the Buy-In payment reimbursed.” 

“I am concerned that Medicare recipients are being unduly alarmed right before the holidays about this letter, which is understandably causing concern,” Sen. Brooks said.  “We immediately took the initiative to determine why these letters were sent and to rectify it.” 

If you receive such a termination letter from DHS, you are encouraged to contact Sen. Michele Brooks’ Greenville offices at 724-588-8911, or email her at mbrooks@pasen.gov. 

Contact:          Diane McNaughton                            (717) 787-1322

                        dmmcnaughton@pasen.gov