“Medicare Quick Bites” is your weekly treat of Medicare information. Hawaii SHIP has created these bite-sized lessons to help you understand this complex federal health insurance, thus “Making Medicare Digestible!” Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to get your weekly delivery of Medicare Quick Bites! This week’s treat is Part B Late Enrollment Penalty. Part B covers outpatient services.
Example: Lei didn’t enroll into Part B during her Initial Enrollment Period which ended December 2018. She waited to enroll in March 2021 during the General Enrollment Period. Her Part B penalty is 20% and she will pay this penalty for as long as she has Part B.
People are first eligible to enroll into Part B during their Initial Enrollment Period, starting 3 months before their birth month and ending 3 months after their birth month. If they continue to work past 65 and their employer group health plan is creditable–coverage that is as good or better than Medicare–they can delay their enrollment into Part B. When they lose the creditable group health plan coverage, they would qualify for a SEP, Special Enrollment Period, in which they can enroll into Part B and avoid the late enrollment penalty. The SEP lasts 8 months.