When you turn 65, you may still be working and not be ready to enroll in Medicare. However, there are important steps to take to defer Medicare while you are still working and covered by your employer’s healthcare plan. If you do not take the right steps, you could be facing lifetime penalties, periods without health-care coverage, and issues with insurance claims.
Factors to Consider
It may make sense for you to defer your Medicare benefits if you or your spouse is working past 65 and is covered by an employer’s insurance.
Once you turn 65, you can enroll in Medicare Part A. Many people who are still working choose to enroll in Part A because it can help cover some of the costs that your employer’s insurance may not cover. It also does not come with a monthly premium if you or your spouse have paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. However, once you enroll in Part A, you can no longer contribute to your Health Savings Account if you have one. Finally, if you are already receiving Social Security benefits, then you will be automatically enrolled in Part A.
For the most part, you will be able to defer Part B with minimal or no conflicts if you are working past 65. Your employer must have at least 20 employees, however, for you to defer enrollment. If your company has less than 20 employees, then you must sign up for Part A and Part B when you turn 65.
If you are still concerned about the penalties associated with signing up late, you can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE and ask if you can defer Part B without penalties.
Medicare Deferment Timing
If you decide that you want to defer your Medicare benefits, you should do it at the first opportunity, or during your Initial Enrollment Period (IEP). The IEP is a seven-month period surrounding your 65th birthday.
To defer Part B, first call 1-800-MEDICARE. It is best to speak with Medicare to figure out the next steps you need to take as each situation is unique.
When You Are Ready to Enroll
When you do decide to retire, you will have an eight-month period called a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) to enroll in Medicare. During this time, you will not incur any penalties. Taking the right steps before you retire will set you up for a smooth entry into Medicare when you are ready.
If you have coverage under COBRA or retiree insurance, it is not considered to be active employer coverage. Therefore, if you are covered by one of these options, you will still need to sign up for Original Medicare during the eight-month period after you retire to avoid late penalties.
Find an Advisor
Medicare can be complicated and stressful, but having an advisor can help you understand all your options and find the best one for you. At Medicare Choice Group, we uncomplicate Medicare and provide guidance through your Medicare journey, all at no cost to you. Let us help you today!