You may be disenrolled from your plan - and we do not recommend this action.
If you stop paying your Medicare plan premiums, your Medicare plan can:
- Involuntarily-disenroll you from the plan (after proper notice of non-payment and a grace-period) - and you may be without prescription drug (or healthcare) coverage for the remainder of the year (even if you agree to pay your unpaid premiums after disenrollment, your Medicare plan coverage will not be reinstated without showing "good cause" why you failed to pay your premiums,
- Send your unpaid premium balance to
a collection agency (Medicare notes, "The [Medicare Part D plan] sponsor has the right to take action to collect the unpaid premiums from the beneficiary at any point during or after this [disenrollment] process."), and
- Require that you pay back-premiums should you ever try to
re-enroll with the same Medicare plan carrier (Medicare states, "If a member is disenrolled for failure to pay premiums and attempts to re-enroll in the organization, the PDP sponsor may require the individual to pay any outstanding premiums owed to the PDP sponsor before considering the enrollment request to be 'complete.'").
- Plus, you
may incur a permanent late-enrollment penalty if you ever choose to re-enroll in another Medicare Part D plan in the
future (and this means you will pay a higher premium).
Suggestion #1: The Extra Help Program
If you are having
trouble affording your monthly premiums, consider applying for the Medicare Part D Extra Help
and ask your local state Medicaid office about other
programs that may provide you with assistance. You can find a local Medicaid office using the following Medicare link: https://www.medicare.gov/Contacts/
Suggestion #2: Keep the plan and avoid the penalty
If you do not have any other creditable prescription drug coverage, then keep your Medicare plan this year and during the next annual Open Enrollment Period (AEP) that starts October 15th and continues through December 7th, work with a Medicare representative to find a more affordable Medicare plan (perhaps a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage and has a $0 premium). A Medicare representative can be reached at: 1-800-633-4227.
Suggestion #3: Learn more before you stop paying your premiums
Please read our FAQ “I wish to drop my Medicare Part D
prescription drug plan coverage. What should I do?
” to learn more about dropping your Medicare plan during the AEP (October 15th through December 7th) or outside of the AEP using a Special enrollment Period (SEP) or the Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA-OEP
For more information, please see:
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
Chapter 3 - Eligibility, Enrollment and Disenrollment, Updated: August
19, 2011, (Revised: November 16, 2011, August 7, 2012, August 30, 2013,
August 30, 2014, July 6, 2015, September 1, 2015, September 14, 2015,
December 30, 2015, May 27, 2016, August 25, 2016 & June 15, 2017))