What’s the Part B late enrollment penalty?

If you don’t sign up for Part B when you’re first eligible, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B.

Your monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that you could have had Part B, but didn’t sign up for it. Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you to sign up for Part B during a Special Enrollment Period. See pages 21–22.

Example: Mr. Smith’s Initial Enrollment Period ended September 30, 2010. He waited to sign up for Part B until March 2013 during the General Enrollment Period. His Part B premium penalty is 20%. (While Mr. Smith waited a total of 30
months to sign up, this included only 2 full 12-month periods.) If you have limited income and resources, see pages 108–109 for information about help paying your Medicare premiums.