Short answer: If you lose Medicare Part B it can be a major catastrophe. So if you’re not already set up on auto-pay, you might want to consider it – click here. Note: If you’re drawing Social Security, your Part B is probably being auto-deducted from there.
WHAT CAN HAPPEN? FIRST, HERE’S A BRIEF REFRESHER:
Medicare Part A – Covers primarily hospitalization. You don’t pay for this.
Medicare Part B – Covers primarily out-of-hospital benefits.
Medicare Part C – Medicare Advantage Plan – Supplemental HMO type coverage that includes drug coverage
Medicare Supplement Plan – Supplemental PPO type coverage. You purchase drug coverage separately
Medicare Part D – Drug Coverage
IF YOU LOSE PART B…
> You will also lose your supplemental coverage whether you have a Medicare Advantage Plan or a Medicare Supplement Plan. So you will only have Part A and if you had a separate Part D drug plan, you can keep that. Therefore, you will basically only have hospital coverage.
> You have to wait until the next “Medicare Part B Open Enrollment Period” to apply for Part B again. Medicare Part B Open Enrollment is January 1 – March 31. Once you apply, the coverage doesn’t start until July 1st. So you can be without coverage for many months.
> You may incur a late-enrollment penalty, which is 10% for every 12 full month period that you’re without Part B coverage. Example: if you don’t have Part B for 24 months, the penalty is 20% of the Part B premium. That penalty gets added to your Part B premium… permanently!
Author: Neil Steinman
Neil Steinman is the principal of Orange County Health & Life Insurance in Orange County, CA – and has been serving the needs of California residents for nearly 20 years.