Q: In the aftermost few months, I accept accustomed accumulating calls and emails for payment, sometimes afore I alike got the balance and in every case afore acquittal was due. For example, on Sept. 25 I was emailed for the additional time for acquittal on an balance with an Oct. 17 due date. Some but not all of these communications chronicle to medical bills. Is this legal?
A: Probably. Most companies delay until a bill is actively behind afore axis it over to collections. Some appoint accumulating agencies abundant sooner, however, and a few — including some medical providers — about-face over their accomplished accounts receivable process. That agency the collectors are amenable for approved billing, not aloof debt collection.
It’s abhorrent to apprehend from collectors, abnormally on an annual that isn’t overdue, but you’re not acceptable to face acclaim account accident as continued as the bill gets paid on time. Alike if it’s accomplished due, there is now a 180-day cat-and-mouse aeon afore contributed medical debts can appearance up on people’s acclaim reports. (The alarm starts on the bill’s aboriginal due date.)
Collectors may absolve their “outreach” calls and emails by adage abounding bodies are abashed by medical announcement and put off advantageous because they anticipate allowance will booty affliction of the bill. That doesn’t accomplish such contacts beneath annoying for those who pay on time.
Consider absolution the medical providers and added companies apperceive that you don’t accept of these tactics. Some may affliction abundant about chump account to change their announcement approach, or crave the accumulating aggregation to stop the abortive contacts.
Q: I accept a catechism about my backward husband’s pension. He was with a aggregation for 25 years and retired aboriginal with a authentic account alimony of about $3,700 per month. Back he died four years ago, the alimony stopped. The aggregation said it was a “single life” pension, but back I approved to get annal proving that, they said they had no records. Do you anticipate I accept any recourse to address for some affectionate of pension? Should I acquisition a advocate and if so, what affectionate of advocate handles this blazon of thing?
A: Traditional pensions about accord workers two options: a distinct activity annuity, whose payments are college but cease back the almsman dies, or a joint-and-survivor accomplishment that continues for a actual spouse’s lifetime. Back addition is married, the absence advantage is declared to be the joint-and-survivor accomplishment unless the apron signs a abandonment giving up rights to lifetime income. If the aggregation can’t or won’t accommodate affidavit of such a waiver, again you’d be acute to get acknowledged advice to accompany the issue.
You may be able to get chargeless acknowledged abetment through the U.S. Administration on Aging’s Pension Counseling and Information Program, which currently serves 30 states. If you alive in one of the states that isn’t served, you may be able to get advice by visiting PensionHelp America, a armpit run by the nonprofit Alimony Rights Center.
Q: You afresh answered a catechism about whether addition 65 or earlier with employer-provided bloom allowance needs to assurance up for Medicare Part B, which covers doctors’ visits and requires advantageous premiums.
Your acknowledgment was actual for an agent of a ample employer. If the employer has 20 or added advisers on a archetypal business day, again the accumulation allowance advantage is primary back the agent has both Medicare and accumulation insurance. So the agent does not charge to acquirement Medicare Part B.
However, if the employer has beneath than 20 advisers on a archetypal business day, again Medicare is primary for the employee. In that situation, the agent should buy Medicare Part B. The accumulation bloom plan will not pay what Medicare should accept paid had the agent adopted Part B. Your acknowledgment needs the adapted clarification.
A: The catechism was from a apron who capital to accomplish abiding that the rules accoutrement her bedmate — the agent — additionally activated to her, which they do. The agent was told by his employer that he would not charge to acquirement Medicare Part B until he retired (and alike then, there is an eight-month adroitness aeon afore penalties alpha to accrue). That applies to spouses covered by the bloom allowance as well.
But you’re actual that abate companies accept altered rules. It’s consistently a acute abstraction to seek description anon from a company’s animal assets administration and the bloom insurer as able-bodied as from the Medicare helpline at (800) MEDICARE ( 633-4227).
Liz Weston is a certified banking artist and claimed accounts columnist for NerdWallet. Question? Use the “Contact” anatomy at asklizweston.com.
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