Last month we discussed some basic information on Medicare enrollment. Everyone should consider what happens if you do not enroll in Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP) that lasts 7 months:
1. Your IEP begins 3 months before your 65th birthday.
2. Includes the month you turn 65***.
3. Ends 3 months after you turn 65***.
4. Your start date will be delayed if you enroll during the last 4 months.
5. You may have a lifetime penalty if yo don’t enroll during the IEP.
CMS HAS A LOT OF RULES IF YOU DELAY ENROLLING IN PART B (AND PREMIUM PART A) DURING YOUR IEP:
6. You can first enroll in Part B (and premium Part A) during your IEP. You may have to pay a premium for Part A if you lack the 40 quarters of Medicare earnings.
7. You can enroll in free Part A anytime after IEP begins. Medicare enrollment is normally automatic for Part A at age 65. You still have to enroll in Part B if you are not receiving Social Security Retirement income.
8. You can only enroll in Part B (and premium Part A) during IEP and other limited times.
9. Your Medicare coverage starts based on when you enroll in both Part A and Part B if you want hospital and medical services. Remember Part A is only Hospital.
ENROLLING DURING THE GENERAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (GEP):
10. The GEP starts January 1 through March 31 annually for people who didn’t sign up for Part B (or premium part A) during Initial Enrollment Period (IEP).
11. Coverage starts July 1.
12. You may have to pay a lifetime penalty (Late Enrollment Penalty if you did not have credible coverage). This penalty is 10% for each 12 months eligible but not enrolled in credible coverage like group insurance.
PART B AND ACTIVE EMPLOYMENT:
13. If you don’t have group insurance from active employment delaying Part B may mean:
a. Higher premiums.
b. Paying for your health care out of pocket.
c. Waiting until next General Enrollment Period to enroll (January 1 to March 31) with coverage not starting until July 1.
14. If you are covered under employer group insurance you can delay enrolling in Part B. If you have 40 Medicare earnings credits you will automatically receive Part A at no cost when you age into Medicare at age 65. You will have no penalty for late enrollment while you have credible coverage (group insurance) or within 8 months of losing credible coverage (like retiring). You still have to wait for the next General Enrollment Period (GEP) January 1 through March 31 but your Medicare Part B will be delayed until July 1. 15.
This is why you can have different dates on your Medicare Part A and Part B.
CMS (THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES) WANTS YOU TO PAY FOR PART B EVEN IF YOU ARE WORKING PAST AGE 65 AND YOU ARE COVERED ON GROUP INSURANCE. ONCE YOU HAVE LEFT YOUR INITIAL ELECTION COVERAGE PERIOD YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW THE GENERAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD (GEP) WHICH NOW MAKES YOU WAIT UNTIL JULY 1 FOLLOWING THE GEP. YOU MUST HAVE BOTH PARTS A AND PART B TO ENROLL IN MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTS OR MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS LIKE HMO’S OR PPO’S.
Please feel free to contact me should you have questions on health or life insurance. For additional information feel free to contact Thomas Walyus at 407-766-4780.