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How To Avoid Paying Medicare Late Enrollment Penalties

You could face late enrollment penalties for not signing up for Medicare at the right time.

HealthPlans of NC

Health Plans of NC, Kelly Quinn

Medicare is a federal health insurance program. It’s designed for people 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, people with end-stage renal disease, or individuals diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. If you live in North Carolina, our team of Medicare agents can help you learn how to avoid any costly premium penalties. We specialize in assisting locals with Medicare plans in North Carolina.

How can I avoid Medicare Late Enrollment Penalties?

Medicare late enrollment penalties can be an unwelcome surprise. You could face late enrollment penalties for Medicare Part A, Part B, and Part D if you’re late to enroll and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. The best way to avoid any enrollment penalties is to learn when you need to enroll and what to do to avoid paying any late enrollment penalties. That’s where our local Charlotte Medicare agents can help. In addition, there are some helpful steps you can take:

  1. Make sure to enroll in Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period. Most people get Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance) during this period. It starts three months before you turn 65 and finishes three months after your birth month (a total of 7 months.) You’ll need to sign up online or contact social security if you’re not already collecting any social security benefits.

  2. If you’re still working, make sure your employer coverage is considered creditable for Part B and Part D.

  3. Organize written coverage to provide proof you have creditable prescription drug coverage.

  4. Be sure to enroll in a Part D plan within the first 2 months of your Special Enrollment Period if you are qualified for one.

Understanding Your Medicare Part A Premium Penalty

If you or your spouse paid Medicare taxes for a certain amount of time while working, then it’s unlikely that you’ll have to pay a monthly premium for Part A. If you have to pay a premium, it’s essential to understand that:

The late enrollment penalty is 10% of the monthly premium.

They will charge you twice for the number of years you delay enrollment, so it’s important to enroll as soon as possible.

What about Medicare Part B Premium Penalties?

There is a monthly premium for Part B, and the amount depends on how much you earn. If you have a late enrollment penalty, it’s important to realize that:

  • The penalty for Part B is 10% for every 12 months you delay enrollment. If you have job-based insurance (or your spouse does), or you’re eligible for a Medicare Savings Plan (MSP), you won’t have to pay this.

  • In most cases, you’ll have to pay the penalty every month for as long as you have Part B.

  • If you are under 65 and disabled, the penalty ends once you turn 65 because you will have another initial enrollment period.

Medicare Part D Premium Penalty

Prescription Part D plans have premium amounts that vary widely based on your prescription needs. When you enroll, make sure you familiarize yourself with the plan’s prescription formulary (the list of prescription drugs available as part of your enrollment).

If you have a late enrollment penalty, be aware that:

  • The penalty is 1% of the average Part D premium for each month you delay enrollment.

  • You pay the penalty as long as you’re enrolled in a Part D prescription drug plan.

Need Assistance?

If you’re after more information or looking to get a better understanding of your specific situation, our licensed agents are available to answer your Medicare questions, for example, finding out about a Medicare Advantage open enrollment period. 

There’s a lot to take in when learning about Medicare plans. We realize how important it can be to chat to a local Medicare agent who understands your needs. In fact, many people we talk to say they’re looking for ‘Medicare agents near me’ to help get them started. Our Medicare agents are all based in North Carolina, so you can chat with our Medicare agents Charlotte today.

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