Health & Wellness / Your Medicare Advisor

Medicare Tip of the Week – Delayed Part B

As Americans are living longer, we are also working longer.  Many of us work past the age of 65 and continue to have group health coverage through our employers.  This may alleviate the need to enroll in Medicare Part B until retirement time.

If this scenario describes you, there are differences in your enrollment periods that you should be aware of.  Your Initial Coverage Election Period changes for enrollment into an Advantage Plan (with or without prescription drugs included).  You will only be able to enroll during the three months before the start date of your part B coverage.  You may qualify for a Special Election Period based on loss of employer coverage which can include the month of your coverage loss, and the two months after.

If you are interested in a Stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP), there are also changes to your enrollment period.  You may no longer qualify for the Initial Enrollment Period; however you may qualify for the Special Enrollment Period based on the loss of employer coverage.  This period would also include the month you lose your employer coverage as well as the two months after.

If you are interested in a Supplement, you will be eligible for open enrollment, which continues for six months after your Part B start date.

Please keep in mind that the above is a general description of how a delay in your Part B coverage can affect your enrollment periods.  Each person can have a unique situation.  AMAC strongly recommends that if you have delayed your Part B, or are considering delaying your Part B for any reason, that you contact Medicare at 800-MEDICARE, or Social Security at 800-772-1213 to inquire about your exact scenario and how your delayed Part B may affect you.

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Bob Mutters

Most employers are moving in the direction of requiring their employees, active or retired, to enroll in Medicare Parts A & B when the individual turns age 65 because it reduces the employers insurance cost. The employer may, or may not, then provide supplemental insurance at a much lower cost to the employer. Employers are facing the same problems as Medicare, the exploding costs of medical care resulting from people living longer, and want to transfer this cost to the government ASAP. For those who think they should be able to wait until they need medical coverage that destroys the whole concept of insurance which is based upon the concept of spreading the risk among those who have a claim and those who do not. My wife and I paid for Medicare for 12 and 11 years with no signicant claims until last year when she needed a knee replacement… Read more »

Linda Haskins

I will turn 65 in October. Since my husbands death in 2009, I have been without insurance, by the grace of God I have remained healthy. I do receive social security, as my husband was approved for disability 2 days prior to his death. However as many of us know that is not enough to live on, so I was able to get a part time job. My complaint is that I can only earn a certain amount or I will lose a portion of my benefits (which my husband died for). Plus, I still have social security, medicare, etc. withheld from my pay checks——not exactly fair as I will never be able to claim my own benefits. Why, because my husband died I no longer am entitled to benefits I worked for all my life. I know this began as widows benefits, but times have changed and it is… Read more »

Geraldine Dellenback

My husband tried NOT to take Social Security but only Medicare part B. We knew that we would be taxed on the SS benefits and with accounting, it would eat up the remaining sum. The man helping us said he nearly fell off his chair as he had NEVER had anyone NOT wanting to take Social Security! Is there something wrong with the system?

Phil C.

Is there a non-government group that helps seniors with insurance forms and red tape? My ex-wife handled all our paper work and had a knack for it. On my own I can’t even figure out how to submit a claim. I gave the dentist my UnitedHealth card (APWU consumer driven option) and they said I have to pay in full on my credit card and then apply to be recompensed. I thought all medical providers submitted bills to the ins. companies. I ended up paying out of pocket. So now I just don’t go to the dentist or doctor. I can imagine being hauled off in an ambulance and end up losing my house.



B.A. Miller

question: Will there be a penalty for not signing up for part D? Neither my husband nor I have taken prescription drugs until this year.

Heis 66 and just started taking one prescription drug which he will be on for the rest of his life.

Bob Lewis

As far as I’m concerned, they can take the entire program and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine. I’ve paid for the stupid program and will not apply for anything further or return any correspondence sent to me.

What a piece of crap! I paid a lot of money to call it what it is!!!

Alan Minthorn

Most of the posts paying penalties have not mentioned, nor did Diana’s article, your need to provide proof of creditable coverage at the time of the postponed enrollment. Your employers should have provided this and a copy submitted at the time of starting Part B/English . You can appeal in writing the penalty by completing an appeals form and supplying your evidence of creditable coverage to reverse the process and recover your $.

The root of the penalty, as with all things government, is based on the concept if you would have started Medicare on-time – the government would have been receiving premiums when they projected they should have. Since you delayed contribution, without proving your creditable coverage, they think you avoided your obligation and therefore impose a penalty to recover lost premiums and interest based on your projected contribution.


Glad to see I’m not the only one who missed the big print or fine print that said I would be penalized for not signing up for Part B when turning 65. Now this year I picked up Part B when I switched to Senior Blue and sure enough I’m paying a penalty. I have yet to have any one explain why I need prescription coverage when I don’t take any prescriptions even now at 70.

Bob Lewis

I was given the same BS when I was told that I had to enroll in MEDISCAM, so I did that. Now, a year later, gthey give me the same garbage about MEDISCAM PART B. I have requested that my enrollment be cancelled in the entire SCAM !!

N. Colmen

Hey Guys. If you didn’t joint part B when it was by the very first time available to you, then it is a very ugly thing if you want to join 2 or more years later. That is, they penalize you very heavily..I am not going to pay more than $200 a month for Part B that I don’t need yet. then I will never join. Imagine if you try to join in 3 or 4 more years!! No one says nothing about it. Aren’t you guys seniors?…Complaint about it…make noise… no one protects seniors …everybody forgets they will be seniors…or they have luxurious pensions (all those Federal and State Government Retirees Politicians and big Labor Union Bosses) that then part B is not needed…


You don’t have to sign up for part B when you are first eligible. If you do sign up later, it will cost more.

Dave Podesta

When working I had United Health Care. I had a $5 doctor visit co-pay and $2 and $5 drug coverage co-pay. I retired at 61 yrs old. My employer told me that upon reaching 65 yrs of age I would HAVE TO sign up for Medicare Pt. B, with UHC as the secondary insurance . I didn’t want to; I was extremely happy with UHC. Now, it is my understanding that Medicare was intended to be the “universal health coverage” of the ’60’s, for people without medical insurance – much like Obamacare. I am being forced to sign up for Medicare which isn’t nearly as good as UHC. Medicare pays whatever they pay and then UHC pays 80% of the remainder with me having to pay whatever is left unpaid.The net result is that now I have much less coverage, at a much higher cost than I did before age… Read more »

Thomas Lytle

I seem to recall hearing or reading from Social Security Administration that if you elect not to take coverage B and later change your mind, you may be required to pay all the past premiums.Also, even if you have private coverage through the employer, there is often a coordination of benefits provision in the private contract, so that Medicare and the private insurer coordinate with no duplicate or overlapping of coverage. Tom Lytle

Liviu Giuroiu

For everybody’s information. Once you are 66 yrs. old and you are still working, you can collect full SSB (social security benefits) and salary without any penalty.

Liviu Giuroiu

Nothing is AUTOMATIC. You MUST apply for Part A!


We have had great health insurance for 35 years. My husband is retired, just turned 65. Got flooded with all kinds of retirement insurance ads. Received the Medicare A card and everyone we spoke with on the phone suggested he sign-up for Medicare B, which he has done. I don’t understand why you should have to do this when you already have insurance. Can anyone explain this to me?
When you call anyone for assistance, they don’t know anything, they just keep transferring the call. Wasted 2 hours one day.
If you have good health insurance, do you really need to have Medicare B? Does anyone know? If so, please let me know.

Woody Sorensen

I currently have my supplemental health insurance with United Health thru AARP and wished to change to AMAC using Mutual of Omaha, however I find Mutual of Omaha would not accept me because they looked at a couple prescriptions I was given for a 3 month irregular heart condition which was corrected and was stopped last year and has been normal ever since, I have excellent BP and heart rate, my weight is normal and overall health is excellent. I am still working every day and work out regularly, however that does not seem to matter to some administrator at Mutual of Omaha so both my wife and I will continue to give our health insurance to AARP because of a very arbitrary and short sighted opinion by AMAC (Mutual of Omaha)!


When you reach 65, you’re automactally covered under medicare Part A. You have the option to take Part B. If you don’t enroll then your cost will go up each yr. you don’t. I went thru the tricky part of delaying Part B, as my employer continued my coverage after retiring, then after that was phased out to take a supplement, i was penalized for delaying Part B. Although S.S. says there are options, they WILL charge you more. My advice is, go ahead and take part B went you take Part A.

marta jones

I am 69 and have medicare and United American as supplement. I have now received medicaid. should I continue paying United American or is there another option that is better..