Medicare Part D Penalty for Late Enrollment

When you first become eligible for Medicare, you have a 7-month time period to enroll in a Part D plan, called your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP)1. However, if you don’t enroll during your IEP, and continue without creditable drug coverage (coverage that is as good as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage) for a period of 63 days after your IEP has ended, Medicare will add a Part D Late Enrollment Penalty (LEP) to your monthly Part D premium. The amount of your penalty increases your Medicare Part D costs, depending on how long you waited to enroll, and continues for as long as you are enrolled in Medicare Part D.

1Your IEP is the 7-month period that begins three months before your 65th birthday, includes your birthday month and ends three months afterward. There is an exception: if your birthday falls on the first of any month, your 7-month IEP begins and ends one month sooner. For example, if your birthday is July 1, your 7-month IEP is the same as if you were born in June— beginning in March and ending in September.