Senior Living

/

Health

Terminated Medicare Part B 5 years ago … now I have a gigantic problem!

on

Toni:

Five years ago, when I was laid off, I enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when I turned 65 in August. By November, I found a new job with benefits and terminated my Medicare Part B. In October of 2023 I finally retired. After filing my Social Security forms, I discovered that I was denied enrollment because I had a past due bill of $405, from when I was enrolled in Part B, which was never paid.

Please alert your Medicare column readers about terminating Medicare Part B and what happens when you do not pay the Part B premium. Enrolling in Medicare will be put on hold. I do not remember ever receiving a bill from Medicare. My Medicare Part B is being issued February 1 and I will be having a “famous” Medicare Part B and D penalty.

I hope to help Americans understand Medicare issues that can affect them when enrolling in Medicare past age 65. Thanks, Toni.

--Greg from Spring, Texas

Greg:

I am sure that the Medicare stress you are experiencing is overwhelming, Greg. Medicare does allow those turning 65 with employer benefits to delay Medicare Part B enrollment without a penalty when you want to enroll in Medicare later. But delaying Medicare without penalty does require having employer group health coverage from you or your spouse’s employment.

Readers, if you find yourself in Greg’s situation, Social Security should interview you to terminate Medicare Parts A and/or B by phone or by visiting your local Social Security office. Tell the representative that you need to terminate your Medicare since you are covered by employer’s group health coverage and made a mistake by enrolling in Medicare. You will need to file Social Security form CMS-1763, Request to Terminate Medicare Part A (hospital) or Part B (medical). (Remember: When mailing forms to Social Security, always make copies, always send them via priority mail, and ask to receive a signed copy when received (return receipt).)

While talking with the Social Security agent from either your local office or the main office at (800) 772-1213, ask to view your Social Security account and verify whether you owe any back Medicare Part B or D premiums. Be sure to pay off the past due premiums. No one wants to experience what Greg did by not knowing that there is a past due Medicare premium.

 

Here are Medicare enrollment situations that DO matter:

-- A Working Spouse: If the working spouse is providing health insurance benefits from their current employment group health coverage, then you may want to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B. You may continue to work either part-time or as a self-employed individual while taking advantage of the coverage provided by your working spouse.

-- Self-Employed: If you are turning 65, not covered under an employer’s group health plan and waited to enroll in Medicare Part B, then you can receive a 10% penalty for each 12-month period that you were not enrolled in Part B when turning 65.

-- Past 65 and still working: Verify with your (or your spouse’s) employer’s human resources department if you should delay enrolling in Part B because you (or your spouse) are “still working” and are on an employer group health plan.

Readers, as soon as you will no longer be covered by an employer group health plan, have your HR department fill out and sign Social Security form CMS-L564, Request for Employment Information, and CMS-40B, Application for Medicare Part B. Contact your local Social Security office to file the forms to justify your delay in enrollment and avoid needless penalties.

- - -

Toni King is an author and columnist on Medicare and health insurance issues. She has spent nearly 30 years as a top sales leader in the field. If you have a Medicare question, email info@tonisays.com or call 832-519-8664. Toni’s books and her newsletter are available at www.tonisays.com. Toni’s new Confused about Medicare video series is now available for purchase at www.tonisays.com, as are Toni’s Medicare Survival Guide and discounted bundle package.


Copyright 2024 Toni King, Distributed by Counterpoint Media

 

 

Comics

Scott Stantis Reply All Steve Kelley Shoe Rose is Rose Wallace The Brave