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Part A Late Enrollment Penalty

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Part A Late Enrollment Penalty

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is the inpatient hospital coverage portion of Medicare. For most people, there will be no Medicare late enrollment penalties for Part A. The reason for this is that Medicare Part A is that portion of Medicare paid for by payroll tax deductions during your working years. Your Medicare taxes pay for Part A.

As long as either you or your spouse have paid Medicare taxes for at least 40-quarters during your lifetime, your Medicare Part A is fully paid for. Medicare refers to this as “Medicare Part A eligible”

With your Medicare Part A fully paid for, there are never late enrollment penalties. You can enroll in Part A anytime during or after your Initial Enrollment Period (see below) and never pay a late enrollment penalty.

If you apply for Medicare Part A during your Initial Enrollment Period, your Part A will start the first day of the month you turn 65.

If you apply for Part A after your Initial Enrollment Period, your Part A will start retroactively. It will start either on the first day of the month you turn 65 or six months retroactive to your enrollment, whichever comes first.

Medicare late enrollment penalties are not a one-time fee. You will pay the penalty as it is added to your monthly premiums. In many cases, the penalties can be charged for as long as you have Medicare coverage.
Medicare Part A Late Enrollment Penalty

Most Medicare enrollees paid for their Part A via their or their spouses’ payroll taxes and will never pay a penalty for late enrollment.

Those who are not eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A, may pay a penalty for not enrolling when they are supposed to.

For missing the Medicare Part A enrollment window, the premium penalties are 10% of the monthly premium paid for twice the number of years you didn’t enroll when you were supposed to.

For example, if you did not have creditable coverage and you delay enrollment for two years, you will pay a late enrollment penalty of 10% of your premium for four years, twice the number of years you missed.


If you were eligible for Part A for 2 years but didn’t sign up, you’ll have to pay the higher premium for 4 years. Usually, you don’t have to pay a penalty if you meet certain conditions that allow you to sign up for Part A during a Special Enrollment Period.

Learn How Medicare Works Here