February 22, 2021
Should you enroll in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan even if you are healthy and take no medication? This Medicare Part D penalty video details the two important points you should consider when you are contemplating not enrolling in Medicare Part D. The true cost and risk to you and your family is much more than small monetary fine imposed by Medicare.
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Want more information on Medicare Part D? See our two other Medicare Part D videos:
Here is the scenario; I am healthy and just turning 65. I take no regular medications at all and am seldom ill. Should I really enroll in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plan?
Why not save money and just enroll later, when I need it? What is the Medicare Part D penalty for not enrolling?
First, there is a small financial penalty for not enrolling in Medicare Part D during your initial enrollment period. It’s 1% of the average “national base Beneficiary Premium” Part D premium for every month that you were supposed to have a plan but didn’t. That penalty amount is then rounded to the nearest 10 cents and added to your Part D premium every month for the rest of your life. Now, that’s not a lot of money and won’t typically break anyone’s bank. But it does add up and can increase as the average premium increases. The average monthly premium is $35.63 in 2017. So just missing all of 2017 would mean adding about $4.30 to your part D monthly premium. Go a few years without and you can double the cost of your prescription drug premiums for the rest of your life.
While the cost of the monetary Medicare Part D penalty alone is worth considering, there is an even greater cost you should consider.
Once you are eligible for a Medicare Part D plan if you miss your initial enrollment period and do not have employer creditable coverage, you can only join a Part D plan during the Annual Election period. The Annual Election Period is from October 15 through December 07th, with your Part D plan starting the following January.
Now there are some exceptions, like if you are disenrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan and going back to Original Medicare, but were dealing with “under normal circumstances” in this video.
So, here is what you have to consider; let’s say you forego enrolling in Part D because you’re healthy and want to save money. Now it’s January, or February or March or anytime mid year. You come back from the doctors’ office checking up on that nagging cough or back pain or maybe you just lost your appetite and don’t feel like eating anymore…after a couple tests your doctor tells you – you have cancer. Or maybe you are developing arthritis, or an autoimmune disease or any of the hundreds of ailments that become way too common after 65…. Now what? You cannot get prescription insurance to cover your costs until January of the next year.
Now you may be facing prescription drug costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. The average cancer drug is $10,000 a month when you have no Part D. Some are well into the half a million dollars per treatment for the uninsured. Arthritis and MS drugs average $5,000 a month. I could go on…..
This is a table put together by the Kaiser Family Foundation put together in 2016. his is the average out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for people that HAVE Medicare part D covering 95% of the cost. These numbers are the 5% you have to pay if you have a Part D plan. Imagine what you pay when Medicare isn’t there to absorb 95% of the cost.
It comes back to the question we must all ask ourselves; why do we have health insurance? Why? For me, it’s because I do not want any health even to have a devastating impact on my finances. I don’t want mine and my family’s quality of life to be at risk because of the high cost of medical services.
The lowest-cost Part D prescription drug plans are under $20 /month.
Is saving $20 a month worth risking the tens of thousands of dollars in drug costs?
If you had to pay those $10,000s would it have an impact on the quality of your life?
That’s a question only you can answer. Just understand that the risk to you and your family goes well beyond the relatively small penalty Medicare imposes.
I am Matthew Claassen with Medigap Seminars.org. If you have found this information useful, please like this video! When you vote with the LIKE button you help other people find this video when searching deciding for themselves if they should forgo enrolling in Medicare Part D. Of course, we have an entire library of free educational Medicare videos. Please subscribe to our channel so you can easily find them all and check out our website for even more articles and useful resources.
Watch the other videos in this series here: All About Medicare
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