Delayed Medicare Enrollment Can Sting

Dont Get Stung With Penalties -
Dont Get Stung With Penalties –

So you qualified retro-actively for Disability and viola you got Medicare.  However, since you had coverage under your spouse’s health insurance you decided to suspend your Medicare Part B coverage.  BE CAREFUL.  If for some reason your spouse retires, or loses the coverage through his employer and goes onto COBRA, the waiving of the penalty for not being enrolled in Medicare does not apply.  One of my clients recently discovered this only 3 days after the open enrollment from January 1st through March 31st had ended.  Worse yet, she had been on Cobra for nearly 18 months paying high premiums for coverage that she could have ended and gone back onto her Medicare.  So be careful, if you call Social Security and ask them to STOP your Medicare Part B,  they are going to assume you know what you are doing.  Ignorance is not bliss nor is it an excuse, you will be charged a penalty if you are not covered under an employer group plan through yourself or your spouse and that coverage is being provided during employment.  COBRA does not qualify as a waiver of the penalty because the primary covered individual is no longer working.

So ask questions if you are not sure about your Medicare options, rights, and penalties.  There are many resources available online at and through broker agencies like ours at  Avoid the 10% penalty and make sure that you elect your Medicare Part B when you are required to do so.  For more information you can download a free copy of ‘Medicare & You’ for further information.