How do I avoid paying a penalty?

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Join a Medicare drug plan when you’re first eligible or have other creditable prescription drug coverage at that time to avoid paying the penalty.

Don’t go 63 days or more in a row without a Medicare drug plan or other creditable prescription drug coverage. Creditable prescription drug coverage could include drug coverage from a former employer or union, TRICARE, the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), or the Indian Health Service. Your plan must tell you each year if your drug coverage is creditable to avoid paying the penalty. It may send you this information in a letter or let you know in a newsletter or other piece of mail. Keep this information because you may need it if you join a Medicare drug plan later.

Nurse Helping Senior Man To Organize Medication and explaining how to avoid paying a penalty.
Creditable prescription drug coverage at that time to avoid paying the penalty.

Avoid penalties on Medicare Drug Plans

Tell your Medicare drug plan when you join if you have other creditable prescription drug coverage. When you join a Medicare drug plan, the plan may send you a letter asking if you have creditable prescription drug coverage. The plan believes you went 63 or more days in a row without other creditable prescription drug coverage. Complete the form and return it by the deadline in the letter. If you don’t tell your plan about your creditable prescription drug coverage, you may have to pay the late enrollment penalty.

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