For the 10,000 people aging into Medicare each day, a single misstep in the enrollment process can lead to expensive penalties and gaps in health coverage. Congress can help by acting now to simplify Part B enrollment and make sure every American gets accurate information about how and when to enroll in Medicare.
A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress—the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act—would improve the Part B enrollment process. Through better notice, eliminating gaps in coverage during enrollment periods, and more, the BENES Act modernizes enrollment rules written when Medicare was created more than 50 years ago.
People receiving Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Part B, but today many Americans are working longer, delaying retirement, and deferring those benefits. These individuals must actively enroll in Medicare; taking into account varied and complicated rules. Those who mistakenly delay Part B can face a lifetime of higher premiums and may go without needed care.
In 2014, 750,000 people with Medicare were paying a lifetime late enrollment penalty because they waited too long to sign up for Part B. The average penalty amounted to a nearly 30 percent increase in a person’s monthly Part B premium. Far too many people with Medicare are saddled with higher health care costs and gaps in coverage due to a fragmented Part B enrollment system.
Medicare Rights strongly supports the BENES Act. Help us support this bill by writing to your members of Congress. Urge them to cosponsor the BENES Act and simplify the complicated and outdated Part B enrollment process.[x_button size=”global” block=”true” circle=”false” icon_only=”false” href=”https://actionnetwork.org/letters/enrolling-in-medicare-can-be-complicated-tell-congress-to-make-it-easier” title=”” target=”” info=”none” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=””]TAKE ACTION TODAY[/x_button]