Medicare Part B Enrollment: Pitfalls, Problems and Penalties

Recommendations to Improve the Medicare Enrollment System for Consumers

An often-reported fact is that 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 and become Medicare-eligible each day. Less well known, and commonly misunderstood, are the rules concerning how to enroll in Medicare. While most newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries are automatically enrolled, others must make a proactive choice to enroll in one or multiple parts of the program, including Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. Through its direct service and educational programming, the Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights) regularly hears from older adults and people with disabilities who erred during this transition and struggle to cope with the consequences. In this report, Medicare Rights details common enrollment challenges facing people new to the Medicare program and the policy solutions to simplify Medicare enrollment and ensure that fewer people make costly enrollment mistakes.

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