Medicare eligibility begins at age 65, but plenty of people are not yet retired at that age. So what if you’re still working, and covered by an employer’s group healthcare plan? Do you still need to sign up for Medicare? And if you miss the intitial enrollment window, will you pay higher premiums later?
You might not be required to enroll in Medicare just yet. If you’re covered under an employer’s healthcare plan, or your spouse is the one working and you’re both covered by the plan, you might be able to delay your intitial Medicare enrollment at age 65. It depends on the size of your employer.
If your company employs more than 20 workers, then you can stay on their healthcare plan. You aren’t required to enroll in Medicare until you lose this coverage (such as when you retire later) and your Medicare premiums won’t be any higher as a result of delaying your enrollment.
However, you might wish to go ahead and enroll in Medicare Part A, because the hospitalization coverage is free to most people. Medicare Part A will work as coinsurance, picking up the tab after your primary healthcare plan pays out first. You might also consider Medicare Part D (prescription drug plan) if your employer’s plan does not have adquate prescription drug coverage.
If your company employs fewer than 20 people, then in most cases you will need to enroll in Medicare. Medicare will provide coverage first, and your employer’s plan will serve as coinsurance if you decide to keep it. Like everyone else who enrolls in Medicare, you will choose between Original Medicare or a Medicare Advantage plan.
Keep in mind that when you do enroll in Medicare, you won’t be eligible to save money in a health savings account (HSA) anymore.
We have some good news: You don’t have to figure out all of these complicated rules on your own! You’re entitled to free help with your Medicare enrollment, and we can provide that assistance to you. Give us a call as your 65th birthday approaches, and we can help you understand which steps are required next. Then we will assist you as you sort through your options.