Medicare Part D late enrollment penalty is something that many people in Fort Worth don’t know about and those who know still end up paying penalties because they fail to sign up for the Part D before the deadline due to some confusion or incomplete information.
The information shared below is simply to equip you with the basic knowledge of Medicare Part D and the associated penalty. For any consultation or questions, it is highly recommended that you schedule a meeting with a competent and reputable Medicare agent in Fort Worth.
Medicare Part D Late Enrollment Penalty
You become eligible to enroll in Medicare Part D three months before the month you turn 65, the month you turn 65, and after the three months of turning 65.
The Part D late enrollment penalty is a fee that is added to your monthly Part D premium permanently for not enrolling in Part D within stipulated timeline and/or not having the creditable prescription drug coverage for a period of more than 63 days.
Who Pays Part D Late Enrollment Penalty?
This permanent fee (or penalty) applies to:
- Every Medicare beneficiary who doesn’t sign up for Part D plan during the Initial Enrollment Period
- Individuals who don’t have creditable prescription drug coverage either through their employer or elsewhere after becoming eligible for Medicare.
The reason why most people fail to enroll in Medicare Part D is that not everybody needs Medicare benefits at 65 because they still have coverage through their employer’s health insurance. So, if you already have a better prescription coverage option and want to postpone your part D enrollment, you will need to be extra careful so that you can avoid penalties later.
Here Are the 4 Ways to Avoid the Medicare Part D Penalty:
Get enrolled in Medicare Part D during the Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)
As mentioned above, your initial enrollment period starts 3 months before your 65th birthday and ends 3 months after the 65th birthday month. Meaning, you have full 7 months to enroll for Medicare Part D.
Medicare-eligible individuals who are still working or undergoing special circumstances listed by Medicare may qualify for the Special Enrollment Period (SEP).
If you have missed your IEP, your Medicare agent in Fort Worth can help you determine whether you qualify for SEP or not.
Get enrolled in Medicare Part D as soon as you lose your creditable coverage
Medicare requires all beneficiaries to have creditable prescription coverage that is equal to or better than Medicare Part D coverage if they are not enrolling in Part D.
When the time comes when you lose this coverage, you must sign up for Part D within 63 days of the coverage termination to avoid penalty.
Get enrolled in a low-cost Part D plan even when you don’t need prescription coverage
You may not need prescription coverage for now, but not enrolling for it will lead to the permanent late enrollment penalty. Plus, it leaves gaps in your coverage should an unforeseen health emergency occur in the future. So, it is wise to enroll in a low-cost Part D plan.
Get enrolled in the Extra Help Program for Financial Assistance
Medicare Extra Help is a federal program to assist families and individuals with limited income and resources to pay for Medicare prescription drug costs. Once you make the mistake and go too long without enrolling in Medicare Part D, you will have to pay premium penalty every month for as long as you have Medicare – which can easily extend for around 20 years or more. When you add the whole penalty amount, you will understand that Part D penalty is no fun. So, follow one of the above ways that suit you the most and you can live without the worries of paying Part D late enrollment penalty for the rest of your life.