Late Enrollment in Medicare Part B

Some individuals do not enroll in Medicare Part B when they first become eligible.  This works out if that person is still working and their employer’s plan is considered “primary.”  However, if this is not the case, individuals who put off enrolling face a permanent 10% penalty on their monthly premium.

Right now, Medicare is extending its offer of relief from penalties for certain Medicare beneficiaries who enrolled in Medicare Part A and had coverage through the marketplace. Purchasing a marketplace plan with financial assistance from the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) can be cheaper than enrolling in Medicare Part B. However, because marketplace plans are not considered equivalent coverage, signing up late for Part B will result in a late enrollment penalty.

Beneficiaries who qualify will be able to enroll in Medicare Part B without paying a penalty for late enrollment if they enroll by September 30, 2018.  Certain qualifications must be met:

Medicare enrollment period that began April 1, 2013 or later; or

Notified on October 1, 2013, or later that they were retroactively eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A; or

Have a Part B Special Enrollment Period that ended October 1, 2013, or later.

To be eligible for the relief, individuals must request it by September 30, 2018. Individuals who are eligible should contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or visit their local Social Security office and request to take advantage of the “equitable relief.”

This article is written by an attorney at Wyatt & Mirabella, PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today for a free consultation, please click here to contact us.