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Veterans and the Medicare Part B Late Enrollment Penalty

Medicare, the federal health insurance program primarily for individuals aged 65 and older, is vital in ensuring access to healthcare services for millions of Americans.

Part B of Medicare covers outpatient services, including doctor’s visits, preventive care, and durable medical equipment.

While enrollment in Part B is crucial for accessing these services, failure to enroll during the initial enrollment period can result in penalties.

Most veterans have access to healthcare through the VA; they have earned that entitlement by faithfully serving their country. In addition, most veterans have worked in the private sector paying taxes and earned an entitlement to Medicare.

The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B typically spans seven months, beginning three months before an individual turns 65 and ending three months after.

Enrolling late can lead to a penalty that increases the monthly premium for Part B coverage. For each 12 months of delay in enrollment, the penalty may result in a 10% increase in the premium. This penalty persists for as long as the individual remains enrolled in Medicare, potentially leading to significant additional costs over time.

United States military veterans have made immense sacrifices in service to their country, demonstrating unwavering dedication and commitment. Upon retirement from military service, veterans transition to civilian life, facing various challenges, including healthcare access.

Medicare, the federal health insurance program, is crucial in providing healthcare coverage to millions of Americans, including veterans. However, imposing penalties for late enrollment in Medicare Part B can pose financial burdens on veterans. Additionally, veterans may face challenges such as mental health issues, substance abuse, and homelessness, further underscoring the importance of accessible and affordable healthcare services.

While many veterans are eligible for healthcare benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Medicare may complement VA coverage by providing access to a broader network of healthcare providers, specialty services, dental & vision, and prescription drug coverage.

The Late enrollment in Medicare Part B penalties may disproportionately affect veterans, especially those facing socioeconomic challenges or transitioning to civilian life.

We propose an exception to the Medicare Part B premium penalty for our veterans who have been subject to poor advice. Exempting veterans from late Medicare Part B premiums acknowledges their service, honors their contributions, and ensures they receive the healthcare coverage they need and deserve.


EDITOR’S NOTE: Lou Partazana is a licensed health insurance broker and President of President

Family Benefit Services located in New Port Richie, Florida.



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