Watch Out for This Important Deadline


Watch Out for This Important Deadline

Posted by Infinite Wealth Advisors, LLC
9 years ago | July 20, 2015

iStock_000007464603Large[1]As you enter retirement, you will need to take notice of several important dates. And you probably already know that you can enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. In fact, you’re probably counting on the program to pay your medical expenses. But did you know that missing the deadline can actually result in a penalty?

The Medicare Right Center in New York fields questions about Medicare from around the country. In 2014, the most frequent questions raised by 14,000 callers related to Medicare Part B. For the record, Medicare functions as you main health insurance plan after age 65, covering most doctor visits and routine care.

And yet, many of the callers weren’t sure whether they would be eligible for Medicare Part B, didn’t know how to apply for it, had no idea when they were supposed to apply, or were experiencing significant difficulties with the application process.

According to the center’s records, the most commonly confused issue regarding Medicare Part B is the enrollment period. You can actually apply for Medicare starting three months prior to your 65th birthday, and for up to three months afterward. This is your initial enrollment period. But many people aren’t aware that missing this enrollment period doesn’t just result in a lack of coverage; you can actually be penalized for forgetting to enroll!

If you miss the deadline to enroll in Medicare, you will be charged more per month for the rest of your life. And the penalty can be significant: One caller was upset to learn that he would be paying 629 dollars more each year!

Don’t make the mistake so many other retirees are making. You aren’t always automatically enrolled at age 65! Yes, enrollment in Medicare Part A and Part B is automatic if you have already claimed your Social Security benefits. But if you have not yet claimed your benefits, you won’t be enrolled in Medicare.

If you’re waiting until full retirement age (past age 65 for many retirees) to claim your Social Security benefits, you will have to remember the Medicare enrollment deadline. Otherwise, you will be charged a 10 percent penalty for each year that you fail to enroll.

Remember that your enrollment period begins three months before your 65th birthday. Mark the date on your calendar, and start on your application early so that you don’t risk missing the deadline.


This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.

14637 – 2015/6/30

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