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In Robin and Rachel’s article, they mention that you need to be familiar with the rules or risk huge penalties and pay more for your lifetime.

May I recommend that they rewrite their article to include some of these rules? If you don’t sign up for Medicare Part D in some form (and this includes Medicare Advantage which by the way is very much like the private insurance most people are used to, including offering PPO and HMO choices) at the beginning, you WILL be penalized when you do decide you want it. Heavily penalized.

Here’s my story. My parents were very healthy and on no medication when they signed up for Medicare at age 65. They didn’t take part D because they didn’t need it. When they were in their late 90’s and my Dad needed medication, it would have cost them $30,000 each to pay the fines in order to have Medicare Part D.

it of course to me seems ridiculous to fine peoplE for NOT using the service and therefore SAVING Medicare the expense but that’s how it works.

AND, your employer may or may not be versed in Medicare. You can keep your insurance (it’s your choice, not theirs) through work. You just have to register with Medicare and notify Medicare that you will keep your current insurance. If you do not notify Medicare, YOUR Medicare cost will be higher the rest of your life. (Ask me how I know?!)

One final thing, Medicare is decidedly NOT a gift from our government. We pay for it. And as self-employed people, we pay double.

It’s a mistake to use language like “gift” to describe government services that are paid for by the taxes WE pay.  

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Thanks so much for sharing your experience, Paula. My Medicare coverage began back in January. Before signing up, I read about the penalties related to delayed signing up for original Medicare and Part D, but that's nothing like hearing about it from someone who has lived it. I'm so sorry you and your parents had such a challenging experience.

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