The decisions you make about enrolling in Medicare now will have a lasting impact on your future health-care costs. Before you delay signing up, you should be aware of the consequences.
It is important to enroll in Medicare Part A during your initial enrollment period. Part A is premium-free if you or your spouse worked and paid taxes for ten years or more. If you do not qualify to receive it premium-free, the penalty for waiting to enroll is 10% of the Part A premium for twice the number of years you delay enrolling.
If you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible or you drop it and enroll at a later time, you may have to pay a penalty of an additional 10% of the Part B premium for every 12 months that you put off enrolling. In most cases, you will have to pay this penalty every month for as long as you have Part B coverage.
You can delay enrolling in Parts A and B without a penalty if you or your spouse are still working at age 65 and have health insurance through a current employer. Once your qualifying insurance ends, you and your spouse would be able to sign up for Part B without a penalty.
The Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty depends on how long you go without Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. Medicare calculates the penalty by multiplying 1% of the "national base beneficiary premium" ($33.13 in 2015) times the number of full, uncovered months you didn't have Part D or creditable coverage. You will pay this penalty for as long as you’re enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan.
You may delay enrolling in Medicare Part D without penalty if you have other prescription drug coverage at least as good as Medicare. The penalty may also apply if you go for more than 63 days without creditable coverage.
If you have limited income and assets, you may be eligible for assistance through the state with your Medicare Part A, B & D coverage.
Got questions on health, life or Medicare plans? Contact me at 440-255-5700 or email. I’ll answer your questions and help you find the right insurance plan for you.