Why it's so important to enroll in Part D on time
Unfortunately, too many people find out too late that there's a penalty if you do not enroll in Medicare Part D within its initial enrollment period.
The only exception that exists is if you have other credible coverage.
So, when is the deadline for enrollment? What is the penalty? Let's take a look.
Medicare Part D Enrollment Period
Once you turn 65 or otherwise become eligible for Medicare (your 25th month of receiving Social Security disability) you have 63 days to apply for a Medicare Part D or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage.
If you have other credible prescription drug coverage through an individual or work-sponsored plan, your deadline is 63 days after you leave your plan.
You can either ask your plan's provider if the coverage you have is credible or you can ask a licensed Medicare insurance agent.
Part D's late enrollment penalty
If you miss the 63-day window to apply for Part D, you will receive a penalty.
The late enrollment penalty is 1% of the national base beneficiary premium for each month you do not have Part D or your other credible coverage.
The base beneficiary premium for 2020 is $32.74.
Once you multiply the 1% for the number of months without credible coverage, you then round to the nearest 10 cents.
Say you left your employer-sponsored coverage effective December 31, 2018.
You then signed up for a Part D plan during the annual election period the following year and your coverage begins January 1, 2020. That's 12 months without credible coverage.
Your penalty is .12 (12% penalty) x $32.74 (2020's base beneficiary premium) = $3.93.
Rounded to the nearest 10 cents that's $3.90. That's how much will be added to your monthly premium.
And that additional premium is for the life of your policy.
Let's discuss a plan so you don't get this penalty!
If you are transitioning to Medicare, we can help you understand your options and avoid any penalties. Give us a call at (423) 240-0794 or click here to send us a message.