If you take COBRA instead of going on Medicare, you need to understand that COBRA is not creditable coverage. This means that if you take COBRA, then, when the coverage ends you may be penalized for both Part B and Part D when you apply. What would be more important to you than the penalties, would be that you may not be able to apply for Part B at the time your COBRA ends. You may have to wait until GEP (General Election Period) to apply for Part B which is once a year from January 1 until March 31 and your Part B will not take effect until July 1. Another consequence is that you cannot apply for any Medicare Supplement plans or Medicare Advantage plans until you have Part B of Medicare. You could apply for Part D drug coverage during AEP (Annual Election Period) which is from October 15 to December 7th. It would not take effect until January 1 of the following year. If you have a younger dependent that you are concerned about not having insurance, we recommend they take an individual plan when you go on Medicare.

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