Yes, you can participate in the Medicare enrollment process without retiring.
Generally speaking, you can enroll in Medicare as soon as you meet the age requirement for Medicare of 65 – regardless of whether you plan to retire or continue working.
There are a few exceptions to the age requirement that allow some individuals to reach Medicare eligibility before turning 65, such as those with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or other qualifying disabilities.
Options for Working Past Age 65
With many people continuing to work after the age of 65, enrolling in Medicare without retiring has become increasingly common.
If you plan to stay employed, you have a few different options.
The first option is to enroll in Medicare and forgo your employer-sponsored coverage. In some cases, Medicare may even be more cost-effective than what your company is offering. Fortunately, you can still use any existing health savings account (HSA) funds you may have to pay for your health care costs even after you switch to Medicare.
Another option is to enroll in a combination of Medicare and employer-coverage. This can be a complex route, so we recommend speaking with a Medicare Choice Group expert if you want to explore this option.
If the company you work for has less than 20 employees, however, you are required to enroll in Original Medicare (Parts A and B) as soon as you become eligible. In this case, you would have Medicare Parts A and B in addition to your employer coverage, if you choose to keep any employer benefits. Note: It is often more cost-effective to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan rather than staying on your group coverage with Original Medicare.
Does Medicare Enrollment Process Include Spousal Coverage?
Unlike employer plans, Medicare does not provide coverage for dependents. This means that if your spouse is currently covered by your employer plan, they will need to make separate arrangements for health coverage.
If your spouse is also 65 years old or older, they meet Medicare eligibility and switching to Medicare is often the most practical option for them. Also unlike employer coverage, you and your spouse can enroll in the same plan options or different plan options depending on your individual health care needs.
If your spouse is younger than 65, there are two options they can consider in order to receive coverage.
- Receive benefits through their employer, if they are employed and qualify.
- Purchase coverage through an individual health insurance policy, such as a marketplace plan or short-term plans.
Not sure which option to choose? Medicare Choice Group advisors can help assist your spouse in finding the right coverage plan for the remainder of time he or she has before meeting the Medicare eligibility age requirement.
Enjoy Both Employment and Medicare Benefits
Enrolling in Medicare, even if you are still employed, can provide significant financial savings in addition to extra benefits and perks not offered through your employer’s group coverage.
Still unsure about enrolling in Medicare before retirement? Want to dive into the details of coverage options? Or, wondering about the Medicare enrollment process and how to sign up for Medicare for the first time? Let us help.
Connect with our team of Medicare experts online or give us a call at (855) 482-0574.