The modern workforce has evolved, changing the preconceived notion of how long people work. Today, more so than ever, people are continuing to work after they reach the retirement age of 65 – whether they’re in pursuit of a financial goal, want to stay connected to peers, or are simply somewhere in between.
What many people who continue working at age 65 and after don’t realize, however, is that even though they are employed there are critical steps they must take to defer Medicare resources and benefits. If not, they could face significant financial penalties, prolonged periods without health coverage, and insurance claim issues.
Depending on the benefits provided through employer-sponsored health plans, some people may want to stay put. But before deferring Medicare, there are a few important factors to keep in mind.
Medicare Deferment and Obligations
First and foremost, confirm your eligibility to defer.
If the company you work for employs fewer than 20 people, you are required to enroll in Part A and Part B when you turn 65.
If the company you work for has 20 or more employees, you have the option to remain covered by employer health insurance and defer some of all of your Medicare benefits (Part A and Part B).
Alternatively, you can enroll in only Medicare Part A upon age 65 if you prefer. This may reduce out-of-pocket fees not covered by employer insurance. Just note, enrollment in Part A may conflict with the employee’s contributions to a health savings account, so it’s recommended to speak with your company’s human resources department to determine appropriate steps.
Note: Enrollment in Part A is also mandatory for anyone receiving Social Security benefits.
How Do I Defer Medicare?
To defer Medicare, you need to identify your first enrollment opportunity.
This enrollment window, known as the initial enrollment period (IEP), is a seven-month window that starts three months before your 65th birthday (including your birth month) and ends three months after the month of your birthday.
When most people defer Medicare, they are deferring Part B. Since everyone’s situation is unique, it can be helpful to understand all options. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE, or speak to our team at Medicare Choice Group to determine deferment steps or ask specific Medicare questions.
Enrolling in Medicare Upon Retirement
Partial transitions to Medicare while still working can be a seamless and easy process, as long as you’ve taken the right steps along the way.
When it’s time to retire and you no longer have employer coverage, your full transition to Medicare can be equally as simple. You have an eight-month window called a special enrollment period (SEP) to enroll without penalties.
Note: COBRA and retiree insurance are not considered active employer coverage, so if you are covered by either of these and do not sign up for Part B within the SEP, you will have to pay the Part B late enrollment penalty.
Explore Your Medicare Resource Options with Medicare Choice Group
Want to ensure you are setting yourself up with a successful future? Learn about your deferment options, the pros and cons of employer-group coverage and other available Medicare resources.
Connect with us online or call us at (855)-482-0574.