How to Withdraw from Medicare Part B

Or: How to Cancel Medicare Part B

This isn’t exactly my line, but it’s something that I’ve been going through, and I’m really sick of there not being enough information on the internet about this. The most information I was able to find was misleading, although it did give me a useful phrase: “intentional difficulty.”

The Social Security Administration does make cancelling or withdrawing from Medicare Part B difficult on purpose. This is because some commercial insurance companies require it in order to offer better rates on their insurance plans. This is made a particular problem by the fact that there are penalties (I think in the form of fees) if you want to get back into Medicare Part B again. These may not be the only reasons, but they are the ones that I found out from an SSA rep.

Just go to your local Social Security office and tell them you want to withdraw from Medicare Part B. They will give you the song and dance about why you probably shouldn’t, and then give you a form. The cancellation will take effect the month after the following month. Cancel on May 27th, and it will stop being applied to you on July 1st.

  • You do NOT need an appointment
  • Do not let anyone offer to mail you the form

My Experience: I had no idea that I would be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B. If I had, I would have opted out immediately, as it would have threatened payment assistance that I bloody well need. This is not the first case of SSA failing to reach me.

I called SSA to see why I wasn’t getting my full check, and was told that it was for Medicare payments. NO THANK YOU. The rep took nearly half an hour of my time to “get some paperwork ready” and then told me to wait 7-10 business days for it to come in the mail. It didn’t come in 7-10 business days. It didn’t come in a month. This was also after a scheduled call back from another rep had failed (dropped call). Whoever tells me the SSA is easy to deal with can chew on that.

After much fruitless and frustrating Google searching, I called them again, and reached a rep who could actually find his own butt with a map. I hope that this helps someone, because it’s information that I wish I’d had. Just go to the office. Yes, it sucks that you can’t deal with it on the phone or online. There is kind of a good reason (not good enough for me, but I’m not the queen of the world), and it isn’t as frightening as I have seen people make it.

I’m going to the office tomorrow. If I have any new information, I’ll write another post about it. However, I am hoping not to have to. I wish the most interesting thing to happen related to my RA is that I learned I prefer the regular syringes over SureClick pens. It takes a couple of minutes rather than 15 seconds, but I’m pretty comfortable with needles thanks to a gazillion blood draws, and with the syringe, you can control the flow of the injection. It hurt way, way less than the SureClick.

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