Special Enrollment Periods provide another opportunity to sign up for a Medicare plan or change a Medicare plan after the typical enrollment periods have passed. This makes this particular enrollment period very beneficial to those who need to use it. However, a downfall to this period is that the only way to use it is to qualify for it.
Do you qualify? Let’s find out.
How to Qualify
There are special circumstances that may qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). Here are some examples:
- Suppose you relocate and your new location is not within your plan’s service area. In that case, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period to enable you to switch to a different Part C or Part D plan or enroll in Original Medicare.
- If you change your address and new plan options are available, you can switch to another plan during the Special Enrollment Period.
- If your employer or your group health plan stops, you may qualify for a SEP to enable you to enroll in Original Medicare.
- You may qualify for a Special Enrollment period if you are no longer eligible for Medicaid.
- Suppose you lose your coverage as a result of unavoidable events. In that case, you can join a Part C or Part D plan during the Special Enrollment Period.
- You may qualify if Medicare is ending your plan. This will enable you to switch to a different Medicare plan.
Will I Have a Late Enrollment Penalty?
In most cases, if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you will not have to pay a late enrollment penalty for Medicare. However, if you still choose to delay your Medicare enrollment while not qualifying for a Special Enrollment Period, expect to pay a late enrollment penalty:
- Part A Late Enrollment Penalty – Your monthly premium can go up 10%. You will have to pay this extra amount for twice the number of years you did not enroll in Part A.
- Part B Late Enrollment Penalty – Your Part B premium will go up 10% for each 12-month period you choose not to enroll in Part B while eligible to do so. This penalty is permanent.
- Part D Late Enrollment Penalty – The late enrollment penalty for Part D will depend on how long you went without coverage. Medicare will multiply 1% of the national premium ($33.37 in 2022) by the number of full months you went without coverage. Your monthly premium will then be rounded to the nearest $0.10. Like Part B, this penalty is also permanent.
Want to Learn More? We’re Here to Help
For more information about your Medicare enrollment and whether or not you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, contact Carolina Senior Benefits today. We know how to make Medicare enrollment easy!