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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Medicare Benefits For Railroad Retirement Beneficiaries

(Posted November 19, 2002)

Question 200: Is the Medicare program the same for Rail workers as it is for the general public? If it is, then am I responsible for any charges not paid by Medicare? (I have a $20 bill from a radiology lab for the portion of charges that were not paid by Medicare. It's now been turned over to a collection agency. I also have coverage from the railroad group policy. Do I have to pay this?)

Answer: First, rail workers and their families are covered under the regular Medicare program. But the payment of Part B benefits (for doctor and other provider services) is handled nationwide by a single insurance company specially designated by the Railroad Retirement Board.

Under Part B, you pay the first $100 of charges each calendar year. Medicare then pays 80% of all other approved charges. You pay the remaining 20% of those charges.

Because you have coverage under a railroad group insurance policy in addition to Medicare, that insurance usually supplements Medicare and so it should pay the 20% that Medicare doesn't pay. I would suggest you submit the radiology lab bill to your railroad group insurance plan and notify the collection agancy that you have done so.

(Author's note: This is the 200th question answered by this column, an important milestone! I want to thank the loyal readers who continue to challange me with their interesting questions about Railroad Retirement.)

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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