Delayed Enrollment in Part B
and Penalty for Late Enrollment
If you’ve read our previous article on how to enroll in Medicare, you may remember that most people qualify for Part A hospital coverage for free and therefore enroll immediately; some people choose to delay enrollment in Medicare Part B.
Medicare Part B takes care of your medical services. This has a monthly premium for most people, and this year 2021 it is $148.50. Those with higher incomes could pay more for this part. Because of this cost, many people choose to delay their enrollment in Part B. In some cases, it may be the right choice, but if you are not well aware and do not act properly it can result in a costly mistake.
Late enrollment penalty
Under Medicare guidelines, people eligible for Medicare can delay Part B enrollment ONLY if they have group health plan coverage from an employer or their spouse’s employer. Those who postpone Part B and do not have coverage from a group plan by an employer will be subject to a late enrollment penalty. The Part B late enrollment penalty is 10% for each year you delay enrollment.
For example, since the Medicare Part B premium for most people is currently $148.50 per month, if you delay enrollment for a year and don’t have health coverage from an employer, you would pay an additional 10%. If you delay for two years, 20% … three years, 30% … A simple mistake like that can end up costing you hundreds of dollars more per year in unnecessary expenses, and that, not including the probability that the base premium of the Part B increases over time.
So just to reiterate, if you are not enrolled in a group health plan by an employer, you must enroll in Medicare Part B to avoid the late enrollment penalty. Coverage through Medicaid, a retiree plan, COBRA or a plan with the Health Marketplace does not qualify to avoid the penalty for this delay, only a group health plan by an employer.
What if I have group insurance?
Now if you are enrolled in an employer sponsored group plan when you are eligible for Medicare and satisfied with it, then delaying Part B may be the right decision, but ultimately this depends on the numbers. It is in your best interest to speak with an experienced agent who can help you compare the costs and benefits of your employer’s plan with the costs and benefits of switching to Medicare. Medicare usually wins as a more affordable option, but not always. If you have questions and need help comparing costs between your employer plan and Medicare, please contact one of our authorized agents for assistance.
Lastly, if you’re covered by a qualified group plan and you definitely want to keep it, delaying Part B is a valid option and generally the best option. In most cases, if you have a health plan with a job, you won’t get any additional benefits by signing up for Medicare Part B. It will only be an additional expense when you pay your Part B premium, but you will not receive additional benefits.
Medigap Open Enrollment
In addition to being a waste of money, you will end up wasting your open enrollment rights to a Medicare supplement or Medigap policy. Pay attention, very important !!!!! When you first enroll in Part B, you get a special open enrollment period that lasts for six months and allows you to enroll in any supplemental or Medigap plan without having to be held accountable for medical questions about your health. In other words, no company will be able to deny you coverage for those initial six months, but after those six months are up, you will always be subject to medical qualifications when purchasing a Medigap plan.
To learn more about Medigap plans, check out our full series of YouTube videos covering all available Medigap policies or just give us a call at 855-GO-AVILA, that’s 855-462-8452 to speak with one of our agents. authorized. Or you can simply click the button below to request information now.