In order to receive your full Social Security amount, people retiring today must work until age 66. Therefore, many people choose to continue working beyond age 65. However, because you are eligible for Medicare at age 65 many people choose to enroll in Medicare as Part A (hospital coverage) because for most people it has no premium. In this situation they may delay their enrollment in Medicare Part B until they retire or lose employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Be aware that if you work past age 65, the time available for you to enroll in a Medicare health plan or prescription plan is reduced to 60 days. (See, if you continue working)
Do I have to enroll in Medicare?
Most people who plan to keep working beyond age 65 will continue to have employer-sponsored health insurance. In this case they are not required to enroll in Medicare and will not be penalized for enrolling at a later date if the employer insurance is considered credible coverage by Medicare. However, there are instances where Medicare can be more cost effective than your employer-sponsored coverage. You can acquire a summary of benefits from your health plan’s administrator and we are happy to compare that to what is available with Medicare for you.
What if I have an individual health insurance plan?
If you pay independently for your health insurance instead of having employer-sponsored health insurance, you could save money by enrolling in original Medicare and a Medicare health plan. To find out what is available in your area please give us a call.
Be aware of your situation.
If you work past age 65 all the rules regarding open enrollment change and you will only have 60 days from your Medicare Part B effective date to apply for a Part C Medicare Advantage Plan or Part D prescription drug plan. If you miss this enrollment opportunity you will have to wait until the next Annual Enrollment Period (AEP) October 15 to December 7 and your plan will be effective January 1st. You will also likely pay a penalty for the period of time you are eligible for part D prescription drug coverage but did not have it. Please feel free to call anytime for a more detailed explanation.
If you continue working.
If you enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65 but are still working and covered under employer-sponsored health insurance there are rules that stipulate which insurance is primary and which is secondary. Typically, if the employer has less than 20 employees Medicare will be primary, if the employer has more than 20 employees the employer insurance is primary. However, some employer’s insurance require employees to meet a high deductible and then pay a coinsurance until they reached an out-of-pocket maximum. In these situations, you can often get better coverage less expensively through Medicare. You can ask your health plans administrator for a summary of benefits and we will be happy to compare that with what is available from Medicare.