No one wants to pay more for something than they need to.  This is true of all things, Medicare included.  To avoid having to pay late enrollment fees when enrolling in Medicare and Medigap there are a few important dates to keep track of.

Three months BEFORE you are to turn 65, you should start receiving information about Medicare’s open enrollment period.  The enrollment period lasts for the three months before, the month of, and for the three months after your 65th birthday.  If participants enroll outside of this period, they are subjected to a late enrollment penalty.

Enrollees should understand that there are several different late penalty fees that can apply.  If enrollment is delayed for Medicare Parts A, B, and D a late penalty fee can incur.

Late Enrollment Penalty – Medicare Part A

Most often participants automatically qualify and are enrolled in Medicare Part A when the patient turns 65.  Medicare Part A is premium-free health care.  Automatic enrollment occurs if the participant or their spouse worked at least ten years in the United States.  If participants do not meet this requirement a premium must be paid when they become eligible, otherwise a late enrollment penalty applies.  This penalty increases the monthly penalty up to ten percent.  The premium increase will need to be covered for double the number of years in which you could have had Medicare Part A but didn’t.

Medicare Part B – Late Enrollment Penalty

 Medicare Part B works similarly to Medicare Part A.  Most participants are automatically enrolled in Part B.  If you are not automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B you must enroll when the participant becomes eligible.  If you do not enroll within the allotted time frame enrollees will be required to pay a late fee.  The penalty has the potential to increase up to ten percent for every year the participant could have signed up but did not.  Medicare Part B is elective coverage.  Enrollees are not required to participate in Medicare Part B, but it is encouraged.

Late Enrollment Penalty – Medicare Plan D (Medigap – Prescription Drug Coverage)

Participants are not automatically enrolled in and must take the initiative to enroll in Plan D, prescription drug coverage within the same open enrollment period of Medicare Part A and B.  If enrollees do not sign up during this period of time and do not have any other credible prescription drug coverage a late enrollment penalty will apply.  The Medigap Plan D penalties are a bit more complicated then those associated with Original Medicare.  Plan D’s enrollment penalty multiples one percent of the national base beneficiary premium times the number of months that participants were not enrolled in prescription coverage.


Some participants may qualify for a special enrollment period.  This occurs if enrollees are eligible for Medicare but choose not to participate because you are still working.  This situation exempts Medicare participants from penalties.

The experts at eMedigap Plans, powered by Omega, have all the answers you are looking for when it comes to your Medigap Supplemental Insurance needs.  More information can be found at


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