How do you drop Medicare Part B?


Quick Answer

Enrollees can drop Medicare Part B medical coverage by contacting a Social Security office and submitting a signed request, reports Medicare.gov. Failure to pay Medicare Part B premiums also results in a loss of coverage, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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Full Answer

Once a Social Security office receives a written request to terminate Medicare Part B medical insurance, coverage ends the first day of the following month, states Medicare.gov. To renew coverage, an applicant must wait until the next general enrollment period, which takes place each year between January 1 and March 31. Unless the applicant meets certain conditions, late enrollment or termination and renewal of enrollment in Medicare Part B carries a permanent penalty of 10 percent of the normal monthly premium added to the cost of the premium for each 12-month period the applicant delays enrolling.

If an employee continues to work and has medical insurance through a union or employer, the employee can delay signing up for Medicare Part B without penalty until eight months after termination of employment, reports Medicare.gov. An active-duty member of a military service with Tricare coverage can delay Medicare Part B sign-up without penalty. Those who withdraw from Medicare Part B coverage but keep Medicare Part A can retain Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, but if enrollees withdraw from both Part A and Part B, they also lose their Part D coverage.

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