Part D Late-Enrollment Penalty

Your Medicare Part D is the component of your plan that will provide you with your prescription drug coverage. It is an essential element of many people’s health care, and if you have medication needs – or think you may in the future – it is strongly advised that you sign up as soon as you become eligible.

If you fail to sign up during your initial enrollment period, and if you don’t have prescription drug coverage for 63 days or more, you will likely be responsible for a permanent late-enrollment penalty when you later join. The late-enrollment penalty changes each year, and will be charged to you for the duration of your drug coverage.

To figure out roughly how much your penalty will be, take 1% of the “national base beneficiary premium” and multiply it by the number of the full months you didn’t join when you were eligible. The amount will be added to your drug plan monthly premium.

If you didn’t sign up for a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan when you were first eligible and you’d like help figuring out what your late-enrollment penalty will be, there are some sources available to you. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE for help, or contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

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