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What Happens if You Don’t Enroll in Medicare on Time?

Posted by Nairy Ghazourian
Estimated Reading Time 1 minute 25 seconds

What Happens if You Don’t Enroll in Medicare on Time?

You already know that you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. But what if you don’t enroll? In some cases, you could face a penalty when you do enroll later (in the form of higher premiums). But there are exceptions to this rule.

If you or your spouse are still working when you reach age 65, and you’re covered by an employer’s group healthcare plan, you might be eligible to delay your enrollment in Medicare. If the employer has more than 20 employees, you can stick with their group plan without facing a penalty from Medicare later.  However, you should note that Medicare does not consider COBRA creditable coverage.  If you are over 65 and losing employer group coverage, you must enroll into Medicare withing 60 days of losing coverage.

At some point, you will either retire or otherwise separate from that employer. You will then have eight months to enroll in Medicare. However, if you miss that enrollment deadline, you will face the penalty for late enrollment.

If you’re not covered by an applicable employer’s group benefits plan, then you’re required to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. The enrollment window begins three months before your birthday month, extends throughout that month, and then for three months afterward.

Those who neglect to enroll promptly will face a ten percent penalty for each year that they delayed enrollment. These penalties are added to the Part B premium.

If you fear that you won’t be able to afford your Medicare premiums, you can apply for the Medicare Savings Program, which will cover the premiums if you qualify. Those who qualify will also become eligible for the Extra Help program, which helps with the cost of a Part D (prescription) plan.

Remember that we’re here to help as you make decisions about your Medicare plan. Assistance is always free, so give us a call to speak with a licensed agent if you have any questions about your Medicare enrollment or the different plans available to you.

Nairy Ghazourian
Avanti Insurance Solutions // medicare@solutionsbyavanti.com

I am a local, licensed and trained independent insurance agent. I am certified with many top Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug and Medicare Supplement insurance plan carriers. I represent most major companies with a Medicare contract and am qualified to answer any questions you may have.

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