Open Enrollment ends on Dec. 7! Download the free guide to help weigh coverage options. 

Medicare Snapshot: Stories from the Helpline

A Costly Mistake: Missing Part B Enrollment

An often-reported fact is that 10,000 Baby Boomers are turning 65 and becoming Medicare-eligible each day. Less well known, and commonly misunderstood, are the rules concerning how to enroll in Medicare and the potential consequences for those who make mistakes. While many newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B, others must make a proactive choice to enroll. Too frequently, individuals mistakenly delay or decline Part B enrollment because they are unaware of their rights and obligations, or because they are concerned about the premium cost. For those who fail to enroll in Part B in a timely manner, possible consequences include gaps in coverage, lifetime premium penalties, and disruptions in accessing needed care.

In 2014, the Medicare Rights Center’s national helpline fielded more than 14,000 questions, and the second most common question concerned transitioning to Medicare (22 percent). Nearly one-quarter of these calls were from people experiencing challenges enrolling in Part B, whether because they were navigating a specific hurdle (38 percent), did not understand enrollment periods (28 percent), or were unsure whether they were Medicare-eligible (13 percent).

Protect & Strengthen Medicare

Any changes to the Medicare program must aim for healthier people, better care, and smarter spending—not paying more for less. As policymakers debate the future of health care, we will provide our insights here.

30 Policy Goals

Thinking ahead to Medicare's future, it’s important to modernize benefits and pursue changes that improve how people with Medicare navigate their coverage on a daily basis. Here are our evolving 30 policy goals for Medicare’s future.

Get Involved

You can help protect and strengthen Medicare by taking action on the important issues we are following, subscribe to newsletter alerts, or follow along on social media. Any way you choose to get involved is a contribution that we appreciate greatly.