What Is the Penalty for Canceling Medicare Part B?

Cancelling Medicare Part B is a relatively simple process. Still, it’s important to be aware of the risks involved – including coverage gaps and penalties if you later wish to re-enroll.

The late enrollment penalty for Medicare Part B is 10% of the standard Part B monthly premium for each entire 12-month period that you missed. This penalty will be added to your monthly premium as long as you have Medicare Part B coverage.


If you cancel Medicare Part B for three full years and decide to re-enroll, you will be subject to a 30% late enrollment penalty.

As a result, your new Part B monthly premium would be:

Standard Part B Premium*$174.70 (2024)
+ 30% Penalty$52.32
Total Monthly Premium:$227.02

*The standard Part B premium can vary annually based on projected healthcare costs.

What Are the Cons of Cancelling Medicare Part B?

The late enrollment penalty is the most significant risk, but other factors should be considered when before Medicare Part B.

By canceling Part B, individuals are left to pay out-of-pocket for services that Medicare typically pays for, such as:

  • Doctor visits
  • ER services
  • Lab tests
  • Vaccines
  • Emergency transportation
  • Wheelchairs
  • Mammogram screenings
  • EKG screenings
  • Physical therapy
  • Clinical research
  • Imaging
  • Chemotherapy
  • Mental health care
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Home health services
  • Oxygen tanks

These healthcare costs can be financially draining, especially with unexpected medical issues or chronic conditions.

Can You Re-Enroll in Part B After Canceling?

If you have previously enrolled in Medicare Part B and then canceled it, you can re-enroll during the General Enrollment Period (GEP), which runs from January 1st to March 31st each year.

However, if you are eligible, you might be able to enroll in Medicare Part B later during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP), which allows penalty-free enrollment outside the General Enrollment Period.

Bottom Line

Maintaining your Part B coverage continuously is important to avoid the Part B penalty. However, if you need to cancel Part B, ensure you understand the potential consequences and have a plan to fill any health coverage gaps.

Remember that the penalty increases over time, meaning the longer you go without coverage, the higher the penalty will be.

Sources: SSA | Medicare.gov | CMS.gov


Is there a limit to the Medicare Part B penalty?

There is no cap on the Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty calculation.

How do I cancel Medicare Part B?

Contact Social Security or follow the instructions on your Medicare welcome packet.

Can I reduce my Part B premium?

Some Medicare Advantage plans offer a giveback benefit that pays some or all of your Part B monthly premium.

Mark Prip

For more than two decades, Mark Prip at My Medigap Plans has been an authority figure in the insurance industry and continues to uphold a mission to provide customers with comprehensive information about Medicare, life, and dental coverage. In addition, his expertise is unmatched - having helped thousands of Medicare beneficiaries choose suitable healthcare plans for themselves - making him stand out above competitors.