Avoid late
enrollment penalties

If you enroll late, you may have to pay penalty fees.

  
It’s important to sign up for Medicare coverage during your Initial Enrollment Period, unless you have other coverage that’s similar in value to Medicare (like from an employer or through an individual or family plan). If you don’t, you may have to pay an extra fee called a late enrollment penalty.

Late enrollment penalties:

  • Add an extra fee to your monthly plan premium amount.
  • Apply to Medicare Part A, Part B and Part D. Each Part handles penalties differently.
  • Are not a one-time late fee.
  • Are usually charged for as long as you have that type of coverage. For most people, that’s a lifetime penalty. The Part A penalty is different.
  • Go up in cost the longer you wait to sign up. When do I need to sign up for Medicare to avoid penalties?

Part A late enrollment penalty

If you have to buy Part A and you don’t buy it when you’re first eligible for Medicare, you may pay a penalty up to 10% a month for twice the number of years you didn’t sign up for Part A.

The penalty can be canceled if you meet certain conditions. Go to medicare.gov for details about the Part A late enrollment penalty.

Part B late enrollment penalty

You’ll pay an extra 10% each month for each year you could have signed up for Part B, but didn’t. You will have to pay this penalty for as long as you’re enrolled in Medicare.

The penalty can be canceled if you meet certain conditions. Visit medicare.gov to learn more about the Part B late enrollment penalty.

Part D late enrollment penalty

In general, you won’t have to pay a Part D penalty if you have creditable drug coverage or if you qualify for Extra Help.

The Part D penalty is 1% of the average Part D premium for each month you don’t have creditable drug coverage.

If you don’t get Part D drug coverage when you first sign up for Medicare and you go 63 days without creditable drug coverage, you must pay the penalty. The penalty amount will be added to your monthly plan premium for as long as you’re enrolled in Medicare.

Go to medicare.gov to find information about the Part D late enrollment penalty.

I got a letter saying I must pay a Part D late enrollment penalty. Why?
I disagree with my Part D late enrollment penalty. What do I do?

Sharp Direct Advantage is offered by Sharp Health Plan. Sharp Health Plan is an HMO with a Medicare contract. Enrollment with Sharp Health Plan depends on contract renewal. Read the full disclaimer.

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Page Last Updated: 10/10/2022
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