There is relief available to some seniors who have incurred a penalty for their late enrollment in Medicare Part B coverage.
Generally, seniors are eligible for Medicare at age 65, when they can receive benefits under Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (outpatient medical coverage), and Part D (prescription drug coverage).
In many cases, seniors apply for Part B coverage during the seven-month initial enrollment period, when Part A is available. In other cases, certain qualified seniors may opt to delay applying for Part B coverage until a later special enrollment period. However, unqualified seniors who delay applying for Part B coverage will eventually incur a steep, permanent penalty of a 10-percent increase in monthly premium payments when they finally enroll.
As it turns out, some seniors did not apply for Part B coverage when they were first eligible. Instead, some of these seniors opted for dual coverage through a combination of Medicare Part A and the less-expensive health coverage through the marketplace affiliated with the Affordable Care Act. Because the marketplace plans are not equivalent to the Part B coverage, those seniors have now incurred a stiff penalty for Part B late enrollment.
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