My spouse and I continued fed health ins, but did not join Medicare part B. Late enrollment cost now?

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Retired from govt in 95. We are 75.

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There will likely be a late enrollment fee. The reason they do that is that they don't want people to wait until they are sick before they enroll. I can't tell you the fee but you can likely find out on the Medicare site at medicare.gov or at least you'll be directed to information. Signing up for Mymedicare is helpful.
Take care,
Carol
First of all, to put credibility behind what I'm about to say, I work on the business/patient advocate side in healthcare, I have been in this field since 1975, and I deal with these questions daily. If you do not sign-up for Part D (Rx coverage) at 65, yet you have "credible coverage" for prescriptions through a private health insurer, there is no penalty. Keep the documentation of this credible coverage in a safety deposit box! On the other hand, if you do not sign-up for Part D at 65, and you do not have credible coverage, a 12 percent penalty fee is imposed for every year, 65 and beyond, that you did not have Rx coverage and it is added to your Part D premium until the day you die. Medicare Part A is for hospital care and there is no out-of-pocket expense (premium) to you, and it costs nothing to join. Medicare Part B is for physician, office and all other outpatient services and you pay a monthly premium out-of-pocket. This premium is deducted from your Social Security check. Failure to enroll on time, at 65, adds a 10 percent penalty fee for each year that you could have been in Part B but were not, and remains part of your premium until the day you die. To avoid these penalty fees, you need to prove you had "credible coverage" during this time. This can be coverage from you or your spouse's employer, that contains prescription coverage, and is as good or better than Medicare A and B. Keep this documentation in a safe, locked-up place in case you need to use it to prove to the government you had coverage during this time and to avoid penalties. As long as you or your spouse are actively employed and covered per above, if you take out Medicare A and/or B, your employer's plan remains primary, Medicare is secondary. My best advice is this....take out Medicare A and B as soon as you are eligible, even if you are still working, to avoid delays in obtaining A and B once you retire. There are only certain times during the year you are eligible to apply to and receive A and B, so why take the chance? Also consider this...if you suddenly become ill and cannot work, the timing will most likely not coincide with acquiring Medicare A and B. I work in oncology and I cannot count the number of times patients, over age 65, come in with no insurance, for whatever reason, and tell us they've never been sick, or never took prescription meds so didn't think it was necessary to apply for Medicare. If you end up paying penalties, or going without coverage, you really cannot blame anyone but yourself. Prepare early by visiting the social security and Medicare websites to know the timeline you must follow, according to your birthdate, to get your ducks in a row and take the necessary action sooner rather than later. Be proactive! And please be careful about choosing your Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage plans are not all they are advertised to be....beware! You best coverage is still standard Medicare A and B, with a Medicare supplement (aka Plan F).
It's too bad our greedy government penalizes seniors who've been paying into social security all our lives, then to be saddled with a late fee. I feel they should use some of the monies they spend on hostile countries whom HATE America in the guise of "foreign aid." I was still working at age 65 and hadn't had sense enough to do any kind of research into this kind of thing. I was working, making a somewhat "decent" salary and I had private insurance so didn't know (my mistake, totally) that it was IMPERATIVE for me to apply at a certain age; so now, I'm still paying a penalty and it increases EVERY year in the month of January. That and the mandatory $104 or more each month for the coverage causes a burden that I wish I didn't have to pay for my ignorant mistake takes its toll on my budget for the coverage that I wish I didn't have to pay... BAH & HUMBUG! Woe to unborn babies and the elderly in the USA
You will pay 10% more for each year you did not enroll after age 65. This will go on forever. It isn't a one time late fee. So if you're 75, and you haven't paid for 10 years, that's about $100 a month more for each of you. I did the calculations, and if you live to an old age, you don't save anything by not enrolling in Part B at age 65. In fact, you will spend a lot more over the rest of your life.
It's a little more complex than it may seem. My husband waited 11 years to sign up for Part B. This was because he took NO MEDS for all this time. He suddenly found himself taking 3 meds/month. I called in to one of the servers to check it out and found that he would pay $34 more per month. (his social security check is very small). The kicker was that if you signed up for a specific 3-month mail order only insurance he would pay only -- 0 -- yes, that's free for his meds. So be sure to call and ask what is available for your situation. They were very helpful.
If either of you were still working past age 65 AND covered by group insurance until now, I don't believe you pay a penalty. Or they would deduct the penalty for the years you had other creditable coverage.
Oh sorry, I said Part B but I meant Part D. Yes, it is for prescriptions.
Edwinmiera, greetings from another retired fed. As to a late fee for Medicare Part B , there may or may not be a penalty. I'm going to make a guess here and assume that you did not sign up for Medicare B because you had some type of FEHB (Federal Employees Health Benefits) coverage. As you know you can continue to keep this coverage after you retire. If now you want to get Medicare B you can, without penalty, if you have kept your FEHB insurance until now. If you were covered by some other health plan under other employment, same story, no late fee to sign up. If you get Medicare B be sure to have proof that you have had this other creditable coverage for every year you passed on B. I have experience in this. My husband was on Social Security Disability for two years and thus became eligible for PartB. We passed on signing him up because I carried him on my FEHB coverage. The year we turned 65 we signed up for Part B. I had to show that he had had this other creditable coverage all those years between becoming elugible for B and when he actually signed up. At this point we carry both Medicare B which is our primary insurance, and FEHB, as a secondary. Caution, if you are thinking of dropping FEHB, call OPM and ask them about suspending your coverage instead of dropping it. Also, call SS and ask them to explain the late penalty or look it up in the ssa.gov website.
I worked till 68 with employer coverage but at 65 was told that I must take Medicare because this would become my primary coverage with the employers secondary. On retiring we obtained a BC/BS PPO at a cost of (this year) of $139 each per month. In addition we also have the usual co-pays and fall into the donut hole as with Part D. This takes quite a bite out of income but last year for example my medical costs almost reached a million dollars billed.
all the information is out there but it is not easy to find or understand the need to look. if you are working for an employer it is wise to ask your HR dept to explain the options.
We went to our area on Aging before medicare and relieved a lot of good information but the details were still difficult to assimilate. Recently we consulted a County MSW to see if there was a better option for supplementary insurance as my husband hits the donut hole regularly. This was very helpful visit and easy to understand our options and in the end continuing our current coverage was our best option.
Merciful sorry no one explained your rights to you. That should have been done by your employer as soon as you turned 65.You can blame Bill Clinton for plundering Social security. He balanced his budget by using those funds.

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