Covered CA gets its Medicare facts wrong

Sigh…you’d think Covered CA would ask someone with Medicare experience to proof read before publishing, but on 9/10/2015 an agent briefing announced a new Medicare Fact Sheet. They goofed up about the Part B Late Enrollment Penalty, as described at the top of page 5 of the fact sheet.

“A penalty applies to Part B, as well. The monthly premium for Part B may go up 10% for each full 12-month period that the individual could have had Part B, but did not sign up for it. For example, if someone was eligible for Part B for two years but did not enroll until the third year, the person would have to pay the higher premium for the first two years of enrollment in Part B.”

Nope!  Medicare clearly states You’ll have to pay this penalty for as long as you have Part B. (Not just for the first two years as in the example.)  I called Covered CA agent support to let them know so they could fix it.  Maybe they will.

Now, Part A Late Enrollment Penalty does have a limited time span, but not Part B, or Part D for that matter. However, they smartly wrote a person should contact Medicare regarding the Part D Late Enrollment Penalty. Would that Covered California had had the smarts to follow their own advice.




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Michael Grodsky

Michael Grodsky, AIF, is founder of Artist Insurance Services, providing unbiased education and access to health insurance for Californians. He is a board member for Side Street Projects, a nonprofit artist-run organization, and is an insurance and financial planning specialist for GYST, an artist-run company providing information and technology solutions for artists. Michael’s Health Insurance 101 workshops have been hosted by non-profit organizations throughout Los Angeles County. He leads the ‘Health Insurance 101’ monthly informational workshop at the Cancer Support Community-Benjamin Center.