TN 19 (03-93)
HI 00805.180 Payment of Premium Arrearage
A. Description of notice
If the type of relief offered in a particular case requires payment of a premium arrearage in order to have earlier (or continuous) entitlement, the PSC or ODO notice tells the individual that the social security office will advise him/her of arrangements that may be made if he/she is unable to pay the arrearage in a lump sum. The notice does not mention installment payments, per se.
B. Policy -
1. Installment payments
Installment payments are acceptable in cases where waiver of the entire arrearage is not possible. The installments may be paid directly to SSA or they may be deducted from monthly social security checks if the individual is in current pay status.
2. Who qualifies for installments
Anyone who owes a premium arrearage and states he/she cannot pay it in a lump sum can pay by installments. This includes those whose premium arrearage problems have been caused by Government error, but who do not qualify for waiver of a premium arrearage on hardship grounds. (See HI 00805.220 B.)
Also included are Civil Service annuitants who are accreted late for premium deductions from their annuity checks (as explained in HI 01001.181), but had received timely notice that their SMI coverage was in effect.
NOTE: See HI 01001.367 for instructions on equitable relief for RRB annuitants.
C. Procedure - Installment payments, FO actions
If an individual inquires about the “arrangements” mentioned in the PSC or ODO notice, mention installment payments. Make it clear that installment payments are intended for those persons whose SMI coverage for a retroactive period requires payment of an arrearage, but whose financial circumstances make it difficult to pay the premium arrearage in a lump sum.
If, after receiving such information, the individual says he/she is unable to pay the arrearage in a lump sum, accept his/her statement without further development.
Tell the individual that the arrearage may be paid in monthly installments of at least $20 (over and above the current premium).
NOTE: The installment payments must, in large arrearage cases, be sufficient to liquidate the arrearage in 36 months.
Notify the PSC or ODO of the tentative arrangements the individual agrees to for the installment payments.
D. Procedure - PSC or ODO: Default on installments
If an individual defaults on installment payments, notify the individual that he/she has 30 days to remit the missing installments or the period of SMI entitlement covered by the installment agreement will be deleted.
NOTE: Any Part B benefit payments made for medical services received in those months will become overpayments which may not be waived. Those installment payments that were made prior to default will be refunded to the beneficiary.