What If I Waited and I Didn’t Apply When First Eligible?
If you intentionally postponed your Part B benefits because you were enjoying a robust employer plan, you did the right thing. Bravo!! Upon terming or retiring, you will need proof that you had “credible health plan coverage” since the month you turned 65. You can obtain this form from your employer’s HR department, or from a comptroller or whoever administers your employer’s health plan. These professional contacts should be well aware of what you need, and it should be almost automatic upon your request. What you need to do with this form (making certain your name appears on the form, as well as a spouse if they depended on the same plan and coverage) is to take it to Social Security as proof you have had continuous credible coverage since age 65 to avoid an LEP ( Late Enrollment Penalty) which is very pricey. Folks with LEP’s are penalized every month for the rest of their lives. If you have had VA Benefits, first and foremost, thank you deeply for your service, but please do not think that Medicare/Social Security views VA Benefits as an eligibility to avoid a Part B LEP. Thi sis something you should know circling back to eliminating surprise above here on this age. It will satisfy Part D LEP’s, but not Part B, and Part B LEP’s are very expensive. There is one way around it, but we would need to have a private conversation. Now, if you waited to enroll in Part B, “just because”, the prior statement may apply, but most likely you would need to court Social Security during the GEP (General Election Period) which falls between January 1st and March 31st, and then your Part B would be effective July 1st and yes…be prepared to have that LEP. Incidentally, LEP dollar amounts are subject to the length of time that passed since becoming eligible, and whenever exhausting the application process. Rule of thumb- the longer the period of time, the higher the monthly premium penalty.