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AARP's Social Security Q&A Tool

Is there a penalty if you're late applying for Medicare?

En español | Yes, in most cases. If you apply after age 65 and do not have a valid reason for the delay, you will generally have to pay a 10 percent surcharge on Medicare Part B--which covers doctor bills, tests and medical equipment--for each year that you delayed.  You generally have to have qualified coverage, insurance which is equal to or better than Medicare coverage, to avoid this higher rate.

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