By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff
In an effort to combat a cause of improper payments, the SSA is establishing the Travel and Border Crossing system to collect information about applicants, beneficiaries, and recipients under Titles II, XVI, and XVIII who have had absences from the United States. Currently, the agency relies on individuals to self-report their foreign travel. Oftentimes, it does not receive these reports or receives them on an untimely basis, which results in improper payments. In general, the SSA suspends Title II benefits to aliens who remain outside of the U.S. for more than six consecutive calendar months. The agency generally suspends Title II benefits to both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens who travel to a country where payment is restricted by the U.S. Additionally, the SSA suspends Title XVI payments to both citizen and non-citizen recipients who are outside of the U.S. for a full calendar month or 30 consecutive days or longer.
The SSA is not responsible for making Title XVIII payment determinations on claims for services submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. However, the information collected in the new system will be used for two purposes relating to Title XVIII. First, the SSA will use the information to make initial and reconsideration decisions in Medicare entitlement claims because the enrollment criteria requires residence in the U.S. Second, the SSA will use the information to make determinations on an individual’s physical presence in the U.S. and will update the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) system of records with those determinations. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services may use information from the MBR in making decisions on whether a Medicare claim can be paid.
For additional information For further information, contact Navdeep Sarai, Government Information Specialist, Privacy Implementation Division, Office of Privacy and Disclosure, Office of the General Counsel, SSA, Room G-401 West High Rise, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21235-6401, telephone: (410) 965-2997, email: [email protected]. See 84 Fed. Reg. 9195, March 13, 2019.
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