Penalties!!

Those exclamation points aren’t indicative of my excitement, they’re a representation of my petrification! Penalties... they’re everywhere. Here are some you might encounter with Medicare and, if you know what they are, you know how to avoid them (you’re welcome).

If you don’t sign up for Part B in time, you have to pay an additional 10% of the Part B premium for every 12 months you don’t have Part B. So, if you’ve missed 3 whole years, that’s an additional 30% that you have to pay. The penalty continues for as long as you have Part B.

If you don’t sign up for Part D in time, you have to pay an additional 1% of the Part D premium for every month you don’t have Part D. So, if you’ve missed 2 months, that’s an additional 2% that you have to pay. The penalty continues for as long as you have Part D.

Exception: The one exception in which the penalties actually end is if you are already signed up for Medicare because of a disability and are turning 65. Once you turn 65, the system resets.