Seniors who are not well-informed may mistakenly assume that the Medicare summary notice they receive is a bill. Medicare beneficiaries should expect to receive Medicare summary notices every three months.
Medicare Summary Notices, or MSNs, show all services and supplies that were purchased using the beneficiary’s plan for coverage. It also shows what Medicare paid and what the beneficiary may owe his provider, so it may look like a bill or credit statement. On the other hand, you can tell your clients not to worry if they do not receive an MSN. Medicare does not mail out blank MSNs, so if a senior does not purchase any medical equipment, supplies, or services for three months they will not receive one.
Remember that MSNs will come directly from Medicare, not the client’s carrier. Medicare will automatically mail them to your client’s mailing address, but in this digital age, seniors can opt to receive digital copies via email instead. If your client wants to receive a physical MSN but has recently moved or is planning on moving, they should change their legal address through the social security office (and inform the Railroad Retirement Board). Clients will receive separate MSNs for Medicare Part A, Part B, and DME (Durable Medical Equipment). They will look something like this.
If your client disagrees with their MSN or is concerned that they are not receiving all of the benefits they signed up for, they may reach out to you asking for help filing an appeal. Appeals are generally 5 step processes, starting with this form.
Medicare has provided a PDF that you should print and share with your clients to help them recognize a Medicare envelope. Many seniors are rightfully concerned about scams and phishers pretending to be Medicare. Remind them that Medicare is not sending them a bill, so if they receive a Medicare statement asking for money, they should check with you, their agent, before sending in any money or information. In that event, you may need to help them file a fraud, waste, and abuse claim.
Helping your clients with ongoing concerns like Medicare Summary Notices is a sure way to keep them on board with you. It ensures them that you understand Medicare and are able to answer their questions and lead them to the care and coverage they deserve. Happy selling!