To speak with a licensed agent, call 800-388-7078 (TTY 711 M-F, 9am-5pm) or email

What Happens if You Don’t Enroll in Medicare on Time?

Posted by Manuel Meraz
Estimated Reading Time 1 minute 25 seconds

What Happens if You Don’t Enroll in Medicare on Time?

You already know that you become eligible for Medicare at age 65. But what if you don’t enroll? In some cases, you could face a penalty when you do enroll later (in the form of higher premiums). But there are exceptions to this rule.

If you or your spouse are still working when you reach age 65, and you’re covered by an employer’s group healthcare plan, you might be eligible to delay your enrollment in Medicare. If the employer has more than 20 employees, you can stick with their group plan without facing a penalty from Medicare later.  However, you should note that Medicare does not consider COBRA creditable coverage.  If you are over 65 and losing employer group coverage, you must enroll into Medicare withing 60 days of losing coverage.

At some point, you will either retire or otherwise separate from that employer. You will then have eight months to enroll in Medicare. However, if you miss that enrollment deadline, you will face the penalty for late enrollment.

If you’re not covered by an applicable employer’s group benefits plan, then you’re required to enroll in Medicare when you turn 65. The enrollment window begins three months before your birthday month, extends throughout that month, and then for three months afterward.

Those who neglect to enroll promptly will face a ten percent penalty for each year that they delayed enrollment. These penalties are added to the Part B premium.

If you fear that you won’t be able to afford your Medicare premiums, you can apply for the Medicare Savings Program, which will cover the premiums if you qualify. Those who qualify will also become eligible for the Extra Help program, which helps with the cost of a Part D (prescription) plan.

Remember that we’re here to help as you make decisions about your Medicare plan. Assistance is always free, so give us a call to speak with a licensed agent if you have any questions about your Medicare enrollment or the different plans available to you.

Manuel Meraz
Meraz Insurance Services //

I am a local, licensed and trained independent insurance agent. I am certified with many top Medicare Advantage, Prescription Drug and Medicare Supplement insurance plan carriers. I represent most major companies with a Medicare contract and am qualified to answer any questions you may have.

Get Free Medicare Assistance

Friendly, licensed professionals are available to answer all of your questions. Call 800-388-7078 or complete the form below and we’d be happy to reach out to you.

      By submitting this information, you acknowledge a licensed insurance agent may contact you by phone, email, or mail to discuss Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance, or Prescription Drug Plans.

      Close Accessibility Tools
      Accessibility Controls Reset
      Content Adjustments
      Font Size


      Line Height


      Content Scaling


      Highlight Titles
      Highlight Links
      Highlight Forms
      Align Left
      Align Center
      Align Right
      Focus Mode
      Color Adjustments




      Accessibility Statement

      Despite our attempts to make this website accessible for everyone, there may still be some pages or sections that are not completely accessible, are in the process of becoming accessible, or do not have a suitable technological solution to make them accessible. Nevertheless, we are always striving to enhance our accessibility by adding, updating, improving its options and features, and incorporating new technologies.

      We want to provide our users with the best experience possible, so we strive to support as many browsers and assistive technologies as possible.

      If you wish to contact this website's owner, please use the contact form on the website.

      Our User Interface Adjustment Options

      Font adjustments - With this tool, users can modify font size, style, letter spacing, and line height for improved alignment and readability.

      Color adjustments - Users can customize their color contrast profiles to light, dark, desaturated, and monochrome.

      Content highlighting - Users can prioritize key elements such as links, forms, and titles.

      Content focus - Users can enable focus mode to highlight the current page information based on their mouse movement.