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What Happens if You Don’t Enroll in Medicare on Time?

Posted by Melissa Hanes
Estimated Reading Time 1 minute 25 seconds

What Happens if You Don’t Enroll in Medicare on Time?

You already know that you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. But what if you don’t enroll? In some cases, you could face a penalty when you do enroll later (in the form of higher premiums). But there are exceptions to this rule.

If you or your spouse are still working when you reach age 65, and you’re covered by an employer’s group healthcare plan, you might be eligible to delay your enrollment in Medicare. If the employer has more than 20 employees, you can stick with their group plan without facing a penalty from Medicare later.  However, you should note that Medicare does not consider COBRA creditable coverage.  If you are over 65 and losing employer group coverage, you must enroll into Medicare withing 60 days of losing coverage.

At some point, you will either retire or otherwise separate from that employer. You will then have eight months to enroll in Medicare. However, if you miss that enrollment deadline, you will face the penalty for late enrollment.

If you’re not covered by an applicable employer’s group benefits plan, then you’re required to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. The enrollment window begins three months before your birthday month, extends throughout that month, and then for three months afterward.

Those who neglect to enroll promptly will face a ten percent penalty for each year that they delayed enrollment. These penalties are added to the Part B premium.

If you fear that you won’t be able to afford your Medicare premiums, you can apply for the Medicare Savings Program, which will cover the premiums if you qualify. Those who qualify will also become eligible for the Extra Help program, which helps with the cost of a Part D (prescription) plan.

Remember that we’re here to help as you make decisions about your Medicare plan. Assistance is always free, so give us a call to speak with a licensed agent if you have any questions about your Medicare enrollment or the different plans available to you.

Melissa Hanes //

I was born in Oklahoma and raised in Neosho, MO. My husband (Derek) and I have 6 children and 6 sweet grandchildren who we adore. It wasn’t until 2009 when I moved back to Oklahoma that I started my insurance career and developed a passion for educating seniors on their rights and options regarding Medicare. Over the last decade I’ve been helping this under served population by empowering them to make the best insurance decisions for their individual healthcare needs.

In 2019 I resigned my position as Sales Manager for one of the nation’s largest Medicare insurance carriers to join the amazing team at OKMedicareHelp. I provided support, training and mentorship to hundreds of independent insurance agents around the state of Oklahoma and gave them the tools they needed to make the right impact for Medicare beneficiaries. The experience I gained in my previous role gave me a unique look at how to help navigate the complexities of Medicare for both Medicare beneficiaries and agents alike.

I pride myself on operating with the highest integrity and having a heart to serve our local senior community. I would be honored to help you navigate the complexities of Medicare and be of service for all your insurance needs.

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