Medicare Part B Late Enrollment Penalty
Individuals who are eligible and choose not to enroll in Medicare Part B will receive a Late Enrollment Penalty. Medicare will assess this penalty for those people that do not enroll when first eligible. Medicare Part B provides coverage for outpatient services. These services include doctors visits, testing, scans, outpatient surgeries as well as anything else medical done outside of the hospital. Enrollment in Part B for most people is automatic when they turn 65. Individuals usually pay $104.90 a month for part B benefits. This amount can vary according to your income.
There is a penalty for not enrolling in part B when first eligible to do so. The current penalty is 10% of the premium for every year that you choose not to elect Part B coverage. You need to have Medicare A and B in order to purchase a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan. What if you have coverage through your employer? For those age 65 and over actively working and being provided with coverage from an employer it may not make sense to buy part B.
At 104.90 a month:
It makes sense to defer your part B enrollment as long as you can avoid the penalty. Those that are actively working and receiving benefits from their employer can defer part B. These individuals will not face a penalty when they do enroll. Be careful however, you must be actively working and getting benefits. If you get benefits from your employer but do not work, you need to buy part B to avoid a future penalty. It should be noted that a spouse getting benefits through the other spouse’s work does not need to be actively working as long as the other spouse is.