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Do You Have a Medicare Part B Late Enrollment Penalty? Relief May Be in Sight.

May 5, 2017

Moving from Vermont Health Connect onto Medicare was confusing for many people. For this reason, the Social Security Administration is offering help to people in these situations.

  1. Did you have free Medicare Part A? And did you not sign up for Medicare Part B because you had coverage through Vermont Health Connect? If so, you can apply to get signed up for Medicare Part B and have your late enrollment penalty reduced or eliminated.
  1. Are you already enrolled in Medicare Part B, but you pay more because you had coverage through Vermont Health Connect? If so, you can apply to have your late enrollment penalty reduced or eliminated.   

If you are not sure whether you are eligible for these opportunities, please call Vermont’s Senior HelpLine (1-800-642-5119). Ask to speak to SHIP, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program.

Applying for Relief

To apply for this help, which is being called “equitable relief,” call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or visit your local Social Security office. Please note that this opportunity ends on September 30, 2017.

If you decide to apply, you will need to give paperwork to Social Security showing when you had Vermont Health Connect (VHC) coverage.

For example, you can use any of these documents:

  • a VHC eligibility notice
  • your tax form from VHC - Form 1095-A
  • VHC premium invoices and proof of payment
  • other documents that show when you were enrolled in a VHC plan.

If you need a copy of one of these documents, you can call Vermont Health Connect at 1-855-899-9600.

If you are having problems getting a document from Vermont Health Connect, you can contact us at the Office of the Health Care Advocate for help.