There’s a few exceptions, but you can still sign up for Medicare Part A
Many people are continuing to work after turning 65, which is the traditional retirement age and is the age of eligibility for Medicare. If you’re one of those people, there’s some important things to consider that can determine if you should sign up for Medicare even if you’re still working.
Who is Medicare for?
Medicare is the US government run health insurance program for people aged 65 and over. The first primary coverage component is called Medicare Part A, which basically covers inpatient hospital bills, and is low in cost as long as you’ve been paying into the plan for at least 10 years, which most people do through payroll deductions.
The other primary coverage is Medicare Part B. It covers other medical expenses such as outpatient care and some preventative services.
In addition, you will want to sign up for either Medicare Supplement or Medicare Advantage plans to fill in coverage gaps.
When do I need to sign up for Medicare?
Medicare is only available to people over the age of 65 and some under 65 with certain disabilities. In fact, the enrollment period for Medicare begins 3 months before your 65th birthday, this includes your entire birthday month, and then extends another 3 months past your birthday. There are exceptions to this rule, particularly if you’re still working.
Can I sign up for Medicare while I’m still working?
Yes, you can sign up for Medicare if you’re still working. In fact, it’s generally advisable to get Medicare Part A but always consult with a Medicare Specialist.
If you’re still working and have a health insurance plan through your employer, then you do have more flexibility but it depends on how many employees your group health insurance plan has. If the group plan has more than 20 employees, then you are eligible to delay enrolling in Medicare and continue on your group plan. If the group plan has less than 20 employees, then you’ll still need to enroll in at least Medicare Part A and possibly Medicare Part B.
If you don’t enroll in Medicare and continue on your group plan with less than 20 employees, then you could have significant gaps in coverage and possible claims denials if your group health plan finds out you aren’t enrolled in Medicare. Medicare should act as your primary health insurance plan in this situation.
If your employer group health insurance has more than 20 employees, you can delay enrolling in Medicare. However, many people sign up for Medicare Part A as it is generally a $0 premium. It can function as a secondary health insurance plan to your group health insurance and you’ll have already gone through the enrollment process, which could be a relief if you’re suddenly let go or choose to retire.
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