MHI – Q: Do I need to sign up for Part B now if I plan to work past 65?

Posted by MedEd at MHI
If either you or your spouse still plan to work beyond the age of 65 and you have health insurance based on that employment, you may not need to sign up for Part B at age 65. You may be eligible for a Special Enrollment Period allowing you to delay Part B enrollment until you no longer have an employer group health plan based on current employment (keep in mind neither COBRA nor retiree coverage count as current employment).

You’ll want to be sure you qualify for this Special Enrollment Period. If you delay signing up for Part B and you didn’t meet all the requirements for it, you may be charged a Late Enrollment Period when you eventually do sign up for Part B. For that reason, it’s a good idea to check with your HR department to verify you do qualify for this Special Enrollment Period.

Although your Medicare Part B can start at 65, it doesn’t have to start at 65. If you continue to work beyond the age of 65, you have the option of keeping your employer group health plan for as long as you continue to work. When you stop working, use the Special Enrollment Period to sign up for Medicare Part B and avoid the Part B Late Enrollment Penalty.

Before we talk about whether that’s an option for you, let’s talk about why you might want to delay signing up for Medicare. Not surprisingly, it comes down to dollars and cents.

The standard Part B premium is $135.50 per month. Is it worth it to you to pay $135.50 each month for Part B medical coverage if you already have health insurance through your employer?

Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it. 

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