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    Medicare 101: Understanding Medicare Penalties

    As a leading provider of health care services, we often receive questions from our patients about Medicare. As an owner of MyTruAdvantage Medicare Advantage Plan, we created this Medicare 101 series to help provide helpful information about options available to you when it comes to your health care coverage.
    Understanding Medicare Penalties
    Many people aren’t aware that there are penalties from the federal government for not enrolling in Part B (coverage for doctor visits and medical services) and Part D (coverage for prescription drugs) on time.

    1. Part B Late Enrollment Penalty

    If you don’t enroll in Part B when you’re first eligible, or don’t meet specific conditions that allow you to enroll later, you’ll pay a late enrollment penalty that’s added to your Part B premium when you do decide to enroll.

    The Part B Late Enrollment Penalty increases your monthly premium by 10% for each 12-month period you could have had Part B but didn't sign up. For example, 24 months without Part B coverage would add 20% to the current $170.10 monthly premium for 2022.

    In most cases, you'll have to pay this penalty each time you pay your premiums, for as long as you have Part B. And the penalty increases the longer you go without Part B coverage. So, an easy way to save paying extra later is by enrolling in Part B when you’re first eligible.

    2. Part D Late Enrollment Penalty

    If you don’t sign up for prescription drug coverage or don’t have other credible drug coverage (coverage that’s as good as or better than standard Medicare Part D coverage) when you first become eligible for Medicare, you’ll pay a late enrollment penalty on top of your Part D premium when you do enroll. You’ll generally have to pay the penalty for as long as you have Medicare drug coverage. 

    The cost of the penalty depends on how long you went without Part D or creditable prescription drug coverage. Medicare calculates the penalty by multiplying 1% for each uncovered month times the "national base beneficiary premium" ($33.37 in 2022). For example, the penalty for not having Part D or credible coverage for 24 months would be 24% x $33.37, and this would be on top of your plan’s Part D premium.
    It’s important to note that both of these penalties will continue for as long as you have Medicare, and that these penalties are in addition to the cost of your plan.
    You can avoid these penalties by being aware of your enrollment deadlines and the options available to you. For example, one way to avoid the Part D late enrollment penalty is by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan—like Deaconess’ own Medicare plan, MyTruAdvantage—that includes drug coverage when you are eligible to enroll in Medicare.
    Have questions? Want to learn more?
    Give them a call at (833) 213-6731 (TTY: 711) or go online to learn more about Medicare and MyTruAdvantage—Deaconess’ own Indiana-based Medicare Advantage plan.
    About MyTruAdvantage—Deaconess’ Medicare Advantage plan
    MyTruAdvantage is a Medicare Advantage plan founded by doctors and hospitals you know and trust, focused on the community and designed around you. As an owner of MyTruAdvantage, we are pleased to offer this Indiana-based Medicare Advantage plan to our patients, neighbors and community.
    To learn more, visit or call (833) 213-6731 (TTY: 711).
    While Deaconess is affiliated with MyTruAdvantage, we also participate with a variety of other Medicare Advantage Plans operating within the area.

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