Many individuals qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A. For these individuals, it typically makes sense to keep Part A, since the coverage comes at no added cost. However, because Part B comes with a monthly premium, some people may choose to delay enrollment in Part B if they already have other coverage.
If a person or their spouse is still working and the Medicare Beneficiary is covered by medical coverage through an employer or union group plan, they may decide that they don’t need the extra coverage.
There is no penalty for delaying enrollment in Medicare Part B if the Medicare Beneficiary or their spouse have other coverage based on current employment.
They can sign up for Part B later through a Special Enrollment Period anytime that they are still covered by the group plan or in the eight months after their employment or the group coverage ends.
A Special Enrollment Period occurs anytime a Medicare beneficiary has a qualifying situation and allows them to enroll in Medicare Part A and/or Part B outside of the annual enrollment periods.
Those who do not sign up for Medicare Part B when they’re first eligible and don’t qualify for a Special Enrollment Period may be subject to a late enrollment penalty.
This could mean paying a 10% higher monthly premium for every 12-month period that they were eligible for Part B but didn’t enroll. They will have to pay this higher Part B premium for as long as they have Medicare.
It is important to note that not all coverage qualifies for a Special Enrollment Period and would not exempt a Medicare beneficiary from paying the Part B penalty if they delay enrollment.