Friday, May 6, 2022

Can You Cancel Medicare Part B

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Can Medicare Cancel Coverage?

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    Youre Still Employed And Pass On Part B

    If youre happy with the coverage your employer offers, you may think you dont need to enroll in Medicare. But individuals who work for a small employer should enroll in Part B because that will be their primary insurance coverage.

    Employees of large companies do not have to enroll in Medicare. However, if they choose to sign up for Part A and B, Medicare will act as secondary coverage and pay for care after the GHP pays.

    *The threshold for being considered a large employer is 100 employees when an individual qualifies for Medicare based on a disability.

    How Do You Cancel Medicare Part B

    How do I terminate my Medicare Part B ?

    You can voluntarily terminate your Medicare Part B . Because this is a serious decision that could have negative ramifications for you in the future, youll need to have a personal interview with a Social Security representative first. The representative will help you complete Form CMS 1763. This form isnt available online. To schedule your interview, call us at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, or contact your nearest Social Security office. For more information, go to www.medicare.gov.

    Valerie Fisher is district manager of the Social Security office at 3310 Route 66, Neptune, NJ 07753. Call 800-772-1213 for information.

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    How To Apply For Medicare Part B

    If you’re nearing 65 and you’re not receiving Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits, you’ll want to apply for Part B as soon as you can. Similar to Part A, you can apply doing any of the following:

    • Call the Social Security Administration at
    • Go to your local Social Security office
    • Sign up online at ssa.gov

    If you already receive Social Security or RRB benefits, you don’t need to do anything. You’ll receive a Medicare red-white-and-blue card about three months before your 65th birthday. If disabled, you’ll receive your card during your 25th month of disability. Even if you dont want Part B, you can follow the instructions on that same card and return it.

    What Isnt Covered By Medicare Part B

    How do you cancel Medicare Part B?

    You can get many medical services under your Medicare Part B coverage, but it doesnt cover everything you might need. For example, Medicare doesnt cover custodial care in the patients home or an institution, or personal care that can be provided by someone who isnt a skilled medical professional. This means Medicare wont cover nursing home care. Part B also doesnt cover dentures, most dental services, acupuncture, routine foot care, hearing aids or eye exams that you need to get eyeglasses.

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    What Benefits Do Medicare Advantage Plans Offer

    Many Medicare Advantage plans include prescription drug coverage, though benefits and plan availability vary based on your location.

    Some plans may also offer benefits not found in Original Medicare, such as coverage for dental, hearing, vision, and other benefits.

    To sum it all up: With a Medicare Advantage plan, your Original Medicare coverage remains intact but you receive your Original Medicare benefits from your Medicare Advantage plan .

    For more questions about how Medicare Advantage works or to explore plan options in your area, call to speak with a licensed insurance agent today.

    Find Medicare Advantage plans in your area

    Or call 1-800-557-6059TTY Users: 711 to speak with a licensed insurance agent. We accept calls 24/7!

    About the author

    Christian Worstell is a licensed insurance agent and a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options.

    His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.

    Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelors degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.

    Where you’ve seen coverage of Christian’s research and reports:

    Medicare has neither reviewed nor endorsed this information.

    When You Become Eligible For Medicare

    Lets assume you have a Marketplace plan and are turning 65 sometime this year.

    Once youre eligible for Medicare, youll have an Initial Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare. For most people, the Initial Enrollment Period starts 3 months before their 65th birthday and ends 3 months after their 65th birthday.

    In most cases its to your advantage to sign up for Medicare when youre first eligible because:

    • Once your Medicare Part A coverage starts, you wont be eligible for a premium tax credit or other savings for a Marketplace plan. If you kept your Marketplace plan, youd have to pay full price.
    • If you enroll in Medicare after your Initial Enrollment Period ends, you may have to pay a Part B late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Medicare. In addition, you can enroll in Medicare Part B only during the Medicare general enrollment period . Coverage doesnt start until July of that year. This may create a gap in your coverage.

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    Can You Cancel Original Medicare

    Original Medicare, or Medicare Part A and Part B, is administered by the federal government through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services .

    There is really only one reason a beneficiary might choose to cancel Medicare Part A. Being enrolled in Medicare makes you ineligible to contribute to an HSA . So if you are enrolled in an HSA and want to keep contributing to it, you may have reason to cancel your Medicare insurance if you were automatically enrolled.

    To cancel Medicare Part A, fill out CMS form 1763 and return it to your local Social Security office.

    Most people do not pay a premium for Medicare Part A, and Part A works with many other types of health insurance as either a primary or supplemental payer, so its typically not a problem to have Medicare if you also have other health insurance, such as an insurance plan provided by your employer or a union.

    If youre automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65, you have the option to opt out of Part B. Check the back of your Medicare card that you received in the mail along with your Medicare welcome packet. The back of the card contains instructions for opting out of Part B, which includes filling out CMS form 1763 and speaking to a Social Security representative at your local Social Security office or by calling 1-800-772-1213 to make sure you fully understand your decision.

    How Do I Qualify For The Part B Premium Giveback Benefit

    Medicare Advantage can Pay Your Medicare Part B Into Your Social Security Account

    You may qualify for a premium reduction if you:

    • Are enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B
    • Do not already receive government or other assistance for your Part B premium
    • Live in the zip code service area of a plan that offers this program
    • Enroll in an MA plan that provides a giveback benefit

    This means anyone with Medicaid or other forms of assistance that pay the Part B premium cannot enroll in one of these Medicare Advantage plans.

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    You Already Have Health Insurance From Your Current Employment

    If you already have employer coverage and have enrolled in Part B, then Part B will function as your secondary insurance. In this case, if you cancel Part B, you may face late penalties when you re-enroll, depending on the timing.

    Usually, when you lose employer-based coverage, you trigger a Special Enrollment Period during which you can enroll in Medicare without facing additional late penalties.

    What Happens If I Cancel Medicare Part D Coverage

    If you cancel Part D coverage and do not switch to another Medicare PDP or MAPD, you will be subject to a late enrollment penalty when you decide to sign up for one in the future. The late enrollment penalty is a permanent fee that is added to your monthly prescription drug premium. If you are disenrolling from a prescription drug plan because you dont currently take any medications, you may want to consider enrolling in a low-cost Plan D option to avoid a future late enrollment penalty.

    Unsure whether or not you should cancel your Part D coverage? Speak with a Licensed Independent Insurance Agent to discuss your concerns.

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    You Get Bitten By Cobra

    The Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act allows most employees and their family members to continue coverage after their employment ends usually for up to 18 months. But having COBRA benefits does not mean you can safely delay signing up for Part B. Individuals who delay enrolling in Part B because they have COBRA coverage will not receive a SEP to enroll in Part B later.

    Furthermore, COBRA carriers may recoup what they paid toward your medical bills when they discover you were eligible for Medicare but not enrolled in it. This is because COBRA plans cover only the portion of your health care claims Medicare wouldnt be responsible for paying even if you dont have Medicare.

    COBRA insurers may not know youre eligible for Medicare at first. But by the time your COBRA plan ends, the insurer usually becomes aware of your Medicare eligibility and may begin recouping that Medicare should have paid on first. This usually occurs after the Part B SEP has ended, causing you to wait to enroll in Part B during the general enrollment period from January to March of each year.

    Enrolling in Part B during the GEP means Medicare coverage wont begin until July of the year you enroll.

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    Editors Note: Journalist Philip Moeller, who writes widely on health and retirement, is here to provide the Medicare answers you need in Ask Phil, the Medicare Maven. Send your questions to Phil.

    Medicare rules and private insurance plans can affect people differently depending on where they live. To make sure the answers here are as accurate as possible, Phil is working with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program . It is funded by the government but is otherwise independent and trains volunteers to provide consumer Medicare counseling in state and local offices around the country.

    Moeller is a research fellow at the Center on Aging & Work at Boston College and co-author of How to Live to 100. Follow him on Twitter or e-mail him at .

    Elizabeth Wash.: My husband and I married in July. I am 58 and have health insurance through my employer. He is 67 and has Medicare .

    My question: Is it possible for us to drop his Medicare coverage and enroll him as my spouse through my plan? Once one has signed up for Medicare, is it possible for him to go off it and then resume if after I retire? Or is signing up for Medicare a once and for all type decision? My employer coverage is very good so it would definitely be cheaper to sign him up on my plan, but I dont know if its possible to do so at this point. Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated.

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    How Do You Cancel A Medicare Supplement Plan

    You may cancel a Medicare Supplement plan at any time by simply contacting your plan and notifying them that you wish to cancel. You should note, however, that if you cancel your Medigap plan and dont qualify for a guaranteed issue right, you will likely face medical underwriting if you decide to apply for another Medigap plan in the future. This means that an insurance company can use your medical history to determine your plan premium costs and whether to issue you a plan in the first place.

    If you decide to cancel your current Medicare Supplement plan, you may be able to compare plans and find a better Medigap option for your coverage needs.

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    Can I get help paying for Medicare?

    If you need help with your Part A and B costs, you can apply for a Medicare Savings Program.

    You may also qualify for Extra Help to pay for your Medicare prescription drug coverage if you meet certain income and resource limits.

    What if Im eligible for Medicare, but my spouse isnt and wants to stay covered under our current Marketplace plan?

    If someone gets Medicare but the rest of the people on the application want to keep their Marketplace coverage, you can end coverage for just some people on the Marketplace plan, like a spouse or dependents.

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    If I Delay Taking Medicare Part B When Can I Enroll

    You can sign up for Medicare Part B at any time that you have coverage through current or active employment. Or you can sign up for Medicare during the eight-month Special Enrollment Period that starts when your employer or union group coverage ends or you stop working . If you get COBRA insurance or retiree benefits after you stop working, keep in mind that this doesnt count as coverage based on current employment make sure you dont wait until your COBRA benefits end to enroll in Medicare Part B.

    I Have Cobra Coverage

    Can I Delay Medicare Part B Enrollment Without Paying Higher Premiums?

    COBRA lets you keep your employer health coverage for a limited time after your employment ends. There are two situations that can happen with COBRA and Medicare, and it depends on which you get first.

    Situation 1: If you get COBRA first.

    Usually you cant keep COBRA once you become eligible for Medicare. Youll want to sign up for Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65, unless you have access to other creditable coverage. However, you may be able to keep parts of COBRA that cover services Medicare doesnt, such as dental care.

    Your spouse and dependents may be able to continue COBRA coverage after you enroll in Medicare. Talk with your plan benefits administrator about your needs and options.

    Situation 2: If you get Medicare first.

    In this case, you are allowed to enroll in COBRA as well. Its not required, and COBRA would act as your secondary insurance.

    I am receiving Social Security disability benefits

    You will be enrolled in Original Medicare automatically when you become eligible for Medicare due to disability. Youll get your Medicare card in the mail. Coverage usually starts the first day of the 25th month you receive disability benefits.

    You may delay Part B and postpone paying the premium if you have other creditable coverage. Youll be able to sign up for Part B later without penalty, as long as you do it within eight months after your other coverage ends.

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    How To Avoid The Medicare Part B Late Penalty

    Medicare Part B pays 80 percent of outpatient health care costs and 100 percent for many preventive services. But it pays to think carefully about when to sign up. Heres why.

    • Part B comes with a monthly premium. You could save money if you delay enrollment.
    • Part B charges a late penalty. In some cases, you could pay more if you sign up after your eligibility date.

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    ON SCREEN TEXT: Medicare Part A & Part B

    ON SCREEN TEXT: Late EnrollmentPENALTIES

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    ON SCREEN TEXT: Late enrollment penalties on premiums for Medicare

    ON SCREEN TEXT: PART A

    ON SCREEN TEXT: PART B

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    ON SCREEN TEXT: Late Enrollment Penalty – Medicare Part A Cost of penalty?

    An additional 10% of the Part A annual premium*

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    ON SCREEN TEXT: 10%

    ON SCREEN TEXT: Part A Annual Premium

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    ON SCREEN TEXT: Period of time for paying the penalty?

    2x the number of years enrollment has been delayed.

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    Cancelling Medicare During A Special Enrollment Period

    Certain circumstances may make you eligible for a Medicare Special Enrollment Period.

    A Special Enrollment Period may be granted at any time outside of the Annual Enrollment Period to people who move outside of their plans coverage area, lose Medicaid coverage or other experience other specific life events.

    If you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, you may be able to switch or cancel your Medicare Advantage or Part D plan.

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