Monday, August 1, 2022

Must I Sign Up For Medicare At 65

Don't Miss

Sign Up: Within 8 Months After You Or Your Spouse Stop Working

How & When To Sign Up for Medicare 2022
  • Most people dont have to pay a premium for Part A . So, you may want to sign up for Part A when you turn 65, even if you or your spouse are still working.
  • Youll pay a monthly premium for Part B , so you may want to wait to sign up for Part B.

Avoid the penalty & gap in coverageIf you miss this 8-month Special Enrollment Period, youll have to wait to sign up and go months without coverage. You might also pay a monthly penalty for as long as you have Part B. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?

Reasons To Delay Medicare

If youre thinking about deferring Medicare, discuss the pros and cons with your current insurer, union representative, or employer. Its important to know how or if your current plan will work with Medicare, so you can choose the most comprehensive overage possible.

Some of the common reasons you may want to consider deferring Medicare include:

  • You have a plan through an employer that you want to keep.

What If Youre Still Working At 65

If youre still working at 65 and receiving health insurance through your employer, you may still need to sign up for Medicare. If your company offers health insurance and has fewer than 20 employees, your health insurer will refuse to pay for costs that Medicare would have covered. Signing up for Medicare will ensure that those costs are covered.

If your company has more than 20 employees, its still a good idea to enroll in free Part A coverage right away. Your coverage will be free since you already paid Medicare taxes. However, if you have a Health Savings Account, you wont be able to contribute to it once you enroll in Medicare, even if you only enroll in Part A.

You May Like: Will Medicare Pay For A Bed

Should You Sign Up For Medicare If Youre 65 And Still Working

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.

If youre 65 or older, still working and are covered by employer health insurance, it can make sense to sign up for Medicare now. Enrollment might reduce your out-of-pocket costs.

Millions find themselves in this situation. The proportion of Americans ages 65 to 74 who are working is projected to reach 30.2% in 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

But Medicare is complicated, and there are a lot of caveats and some surprise expenses to be avoided. So for working people 65 or older, heres help with figuring out when to enroll in Medicare and how to avoid costly late-enrollment penalties and gaps in coverage.

A note for married couples where one spouse is covered by the others employer insurance: The information provided here also applies to you when you turn 65.

Is Medicare Free At Age 65

Do You Know How to Apply for Medicare? You

Part A is free, as long as you paid Social Security taxes for at least 40 quarters. In other words, you would have needed to work and pay those taxes for at least 10 years.

If you didnt pay the taxes, you will have to pay monthly Part A premiums. People who paid fewer than 30 quarters worth of Social Security taxes must pay $458 monthly for Part A. Those who paid taxes between 30 and 39 quarters pay $252 monthly.

Recommended Reading: Does Medicare Pay For Cosmetic Surgery

Special Situations: Previous Employers Military Vets

If you have health insurance from a previous employer, such as your or your spouses COBRA or retiree health coverage, you need to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65.

If you have health benefits as a military service member or veteran, such as TRICARE or CHAMPVA, you should consult with those programs to determine when to enroll in Medicare.

Its complicated, so get all the advice you need.

Medicare processes and rules are complex and rife with exceptions if you overlook something in the enrollment rules, you may pay a high price in terms of both penalties and gaps in coverage. So you should consult with Medicare and with the benefits administrator for your employer coverage before you enroll or decide to delay enrollment.

About the author:John Rossheim is an editor and writer specializing in health care and workforce trends. His work has appeared in The Washington Post and on MSN, Monster and dozens of other websites.Read more

Enroll In Medicare Part B Depends

Medicare Part B charges a premium, so if you can delay without penalty, you may want to. Most people pay the standard Part B premium, but people with higher incomes may pay more.

Some people who work past 65 and have employer coverage delay enrolling in Part B just to postpone paying the premium and then sign up later during a Special Enrollment Period.

If you dont qualify for a Special Enrollment Period, even if youre still going to work past 65, you need to get Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period to avoid financial penalties.

You May Like: When Can You Start Collecting Medicare

When Your Coverage Starts

The date your coverage starts depends on which month you sign up during your Initial Enrollment Period. Coverage always starts on the first of the month.

If you qualify for Premium-free Part A: Your Part A coverage starts the month you turn 65.

Part B : Coverage starts based on the month you sign up:

If you sign up:

1 month after you turn 65

2 months after you sign up

2 or 3 months after you turn 65

3 months after you sign up

Do I Have To Sign Up For Medicare If I’m 65 Or Older And Still Working

Medicare Sign Up | How to Enroll in Medicare

If you’re age 65 or older, eligible for Medicare, and have insurance through your current job or your spouses current job, you need to make some important Medicare enrollment decisions.

If you don’t enroll on time, you may have to pay a penalty. Before you make any changes, it’s good to understand how your current coverage works with Medicare about four to five months before you become eligible for Medicare.

Ask your benefits manager or human resource department how your employer health insurance works with Medicare, and confirm this information with the Social Security Administration and Medicare .

When you retire or if you lose your employer coverage, you will get a Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare. Be sure to review the rules carefully, so you don’t miss deadlines.

Note: If you have a Health Savings Account, you and your employer should stop contributing to it 6 months before you sign up for Medicare Part A to avoid an IRS tax penalty. As well, before you enroll in Medicare while still working, check with your employer to see if their employer group health plan coverage for prescription drugs is creditable coverage. If it is not creditable, you could face paying Medicare Part D penalties later on.

Recommended Reading: Can A 60 Year Old Get Medicare

Can I Decline Medicare Altogether

Medicare isnt exactly mandatory, but it can be complicated to decline. Late enrollment comes with penalties, and some parts of the program are optional to add, like Medicare parts C and D. Medicare parts A and B are the foundation of Medicare, though, and to decline these comes with consequences.

The Social Security Administration oversees the Medicare program and recommends signing up for Medicare when you are initially eligible, even if you dont plan to retire or use your benefits right away. The exception is when you are still participating in an employer-based health plan, in which case you can sign up for Medicare late, usually without penalty.

While you can decline Medicare altogether, Part A at the very least is premium-free for most people, and wont cost you anything if you elect not to use it. Declining your Medicare Part A and Part B benefits completely is possible, but you are required to withdraw from all of your monthly benefits to do so. This means you can no longer receive Social Security or RRB benefits and must repay anything you have already received when you withdraw from the program.

Medicare Part B: Delay To Avoid Premiums

If youre 65 or older and you or your spouse still have employer health coverage, you will probably want to delay enrolling in Medicare Part B, which pays for doctor visits and many other outpatient services. Why? Because unlike Medicare Part A, everyone pays a premium for Part B, so its never a free add-on.

As with Part A, your particular circumstances can influence your decision, and there are pitfalls to avoid:

If the employer has 20 or more employees: If your or your spouse’s employer has 20 or more employees and a group health plan, you’re not required to sign up for Medicare at age 65. But the clock starts ticking once you stop working or lose your employer coverage , so don’t miss your window.

If the employer has fewer than 20 employees: If your or your spouse’s employer has fewer than 20 employees and the health coverage is not part of a multiemployer group plan, at age 65 you must enroll in Medicare Part B, which will be your primary insurance.

If you have an HSA and want to keep contributing: If you have an HSA and want to continue making contributions to it, you must delay signing up for Medicare Part B. Stop making contributions to your HSA at least six months before you sign up for Part B. And youll want to sign up for Medicare at least a month before you stop work or lose employer coverage.

Also Check: How Can I Sign Up For Medicare Part D

The Problem With Missing Your Enrollment Deadline

Most Medicare enrollees don’t pay a premium for Part A, which covers hospital visits. However, they do pay for Part B, which covers preventative care and diagnostic services. Currently, the standard Part B premium is $134 . If you don’t sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment window, you’ll face a 10% increase in your Part B premiums for every year-long period you’re eligible for coverage but don’t enroll. Therefore, it generally pays to sign up for Medicare at 65 — unless you happen to qualify for one major exception.

Enroll In Medicare Part A And Part B

Must employees sign up for Medicare at 65?

You are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A and B three months before the month in which you turn 65, . Youll receive an Initial Enrollment Questionnaire in the mail to complete and mail back. Fill out the IEQ so your Medicare Part B monthly premiums are paid correctly and on time. You can also complete the IEQ online at MyMedicare.gov.

Medicare beneficiaries are required to do a phone interview with the Social Security Administration when enrolling for the first time. They will determine eligibility and answer any questions about enrolling in Medicare. Once you are enrolled youll receive your red, white, and blue Medicare card in the mail within 30 days.

Also Check: Are Chemotherapy Drugs Covered By Medicare

Your Medicare Special Enrollment Period

If your employer has at least 20 employees and youre still working and covered under that plan when you turn 65, you can delay your enrollment in Medicare . In that case, youll get an eight-month special enrollment period to sign up for Medicare if and when you leave your job or your employer stops offering coverage. It will start the month after you separate from your employer, or the month after your group health coverage ends whichever happens sooner.

Sign up during those eight months, and you wont have to worry about premium surcharges for being late. And the eight-month special enrollment period is also available if youre delaying Part B enrollment because youre covered under your spouses employer-sponsored plan, assuming their employer has at least 20 employees.

But note that in either case, it has to be a current employer. If youre covered under COBRA or a retiree plan, you wont avoid the Part B late enrollment penalty when you eventually enroll, and you wont have access to a special enrollment period to sign up for Part B youll have to wait for the general enrollment period instead.

Medicare Part A: If Its Free Why Not Take It

If by the time you reach 65 youve worked a total of approximately 10 years over your career, youre entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A, which pays for in-patient hospital charges and more.

Why sign up for more hospital insurance when an employer plan already provides good coverage at low cost to you? Because in some cases, Medicare Part A may cover what your employer plan does not.

But as with so many aspects of Medicare, there are caveats, exceptions and potential pitfalls.

If the employer has 20 or more employees: If your or your spouse’s employer has 20 or more employees and a group health plan, you don’t have to sign up for Medicare at 65 if it doesn’t make financial sense.

If the employer has fewer than 20 employees: If your or your spouse’s employer has fewer than 20 employees and the health coverage is not part of a multiemployer group plan, at age 65 you must enroll in Medicare Part A, which will be your primary insurance. Primary means that Medicare pays first, and then the employer insurance kicks in to pay whatever might be covered under that policy but was not covered by Part A.

If you have an HSA and want to keep contributing: If you’re saving to a Health Savings Account and wish to keep doing so, you must delay enrollment in Medicare Part A , because Medicare enrollees can’t contribute to an HSA. In fact, to avoid a tax penalty, you should plan to stop making HSA contributions at least six months prior to signing up for Medicare.

Don’t Miss: Is Any Dental Covered By Medicare

Penalties For Not Signing Up For Medicare: Medicare Part B

Some people might decide to put off enrolling in Medicare Part B . Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B, and some people are covered under employer or union plans and may not need Part B coverage. If thatâs the case for you, you might qualify for a Special Enrollment Period for enrolling in Part B, and you might not have to pay a penalty.

The Part B penalty is 10% added to your monthly premium. You generally pay this extra amount multiplied by the number of years that you were eligible for Part B, but not enrolled.

For example, suppose that:

  • You were eligible for Medicare in 2020, but you didnât sign up until 2022.
  • Your Part B premium is $170.10 per month. This is the standard Part B premium in 2022.

Be aware that the Part B premium can change from year to year, so your penalty amount might also change.

As with Part A, there are some situations where you may be able to enroll in Part B without a penalty, if you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period .

Your Medicare Choices When Working

Signing up for Medicare AFTER age 65 // What you need to know

You have a number of Medicare decisions to make when you turn 65 and this is especially true when you have other health insurance. Its a good idea to start learning about your choices ahead of turning 65. Preparation can help you get the coverage that best meets your needs while avoiding unnecessary costs and give you the confidence you want in whatever decision you end up with.

You May Like: Does Medicare Pay For Mental Health Services

Sign Up: Within 8 Months After You Or Your Spouse Stopped Working

Your current coverage might not pay for health services if you dont have both Part A and Part B .

Avoid the penalty & gap in coverageIf you miss this 8-month Special Enrollment Period, youll have to wait to sign up and go months without coverage. You might also pay a monthly penalty for as long as you have Part B. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?

Have You Or Your Spouse Worked For At Least 10 Years At Jobs Where You Paid Medicare Taxes

Generally, youre first eligible to sign up for Part A and Part B starting 3 months before you turn 65 and ending 3 months after the month you turn 65.

Avoid the penalty If you dont sign up when youre first eligible, youll have to wait to sign up and go months without coverage. You might also pay a monthly penalty for as long as you have Part B. The penalty goes up the longer you wait to sign up. How much is the Part B late enrollment penalty?

Don’t Miss: How Long Does It Take For Medicare To Become Effective

When Should I Sign Up For Medicare

Generally, we advise people to file for Medicare benefits 3 months before age 65. Remember, Medicare benefits can begin no earlier than age 65. If you are already receiving Social Security, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B without an additional application. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. You will receive a Medicare card about two months before age 65. If you would like to file for Medicare only, you can apply by calling 1-800-772-1213. Our representatives there can make an appointment for you at any convenient Social Security office and advise you what to bring with you. When you apply for Medicare, we often also take an application for monthly benefits. You can apply for retirement benefits online.

If you didnt sign up when you were first eligible for Medicare, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1 and March 31 each year, unless you are eligible for a Special Enrollment Period.

More articles

Popular Articles