Nadine, a nurse at the Cleveland Clinic, was celebrating her sixty-fifth birthday in December of 2016. While she planned on working at least until full retirement at age sixty six, she mistakenly believed she was required to enroll in Medicare. Through social security, she enrolled in her Part B and discontinued her employer medical coverage through the clinic.
Enrollees who continue to work or do not start their cash benefits from social security the same time they opt into their Part B for health coverage through Medicare, are billed quarterly. So, in January, Nadine received a bill for $405 from social security. After the holidays, she did not have the funds to pay it, so she didn’t. Her Medicare enrollment was cancelled for nonpayment.
I met Nadine at a Health Fair in June. At this time, she currently had no Healthcare, was not eligible to enroll in any medical plan and was accruing both a Part B and D penalty which would continue until July of 2018, at the minimum. She had called social security to inquire when she could re enroll in Part B and was informed, January. What she was not told, was that though she could enroll January through March, her coverage would not start until July of the same year.
There is much misinformation out there about when to enroll in Part B or D and, unfortunately it is the medicare eligible recipients responsibility to know. As long as you have creditable coverage from a job or Cobra and they don’t require you to enroll, no penalty is amassing. You are not required to enroll in Medicare.
Margaret has healthcare coverage under her husband’s employers insurance, yet enrolled in Part B under the impression she would incur a penalty if she did not. Since her husband’s income includes an extra charge for the premium, she was paying double the standard rate for a coverage she was not only not using, but needn’t have applied in the first place. She was able to stop future payments but could not recover over $1800 she had already spent.
To avoid both overpaying or accruing extra costs to your Medicare coverage, reference when it is appropriate for you to enroll in Part B. The penalties for both Parts B and D are directly related to your Part B start date. If you aren’t sure, contact a licensed insurance agent or go to my website, www.healthcarehelp.shop and contact me. Enquirers and initial appointments are absolutely free. Please, don’t pay the government more money than that which they are entitled.